Coaxial

Crisis on Babylon 5: CRUSADE (now resolved)

Published at: Sept. 8, 1998, 9:29 p.m. CST

Glen here…

Boy, did *this* pick the wrong day to come in. You ever had a day that was just plain *stupid*. A day in which everything around you seemed so hopelessly misaligned with good judgment and common sense that you began to wonder if maybe *you* were the irregular element in the scheme of things, and the rest of the world was just fine? Well, that’s the kind of day this has been. Case and point, the following message, sent in by THE SHADOW OF TECHWOOD.

SHADOW indicates that TNT is toying with the idea of making some rather substantial - and horrifying - changes to BABYLON 5’s forthcoming spinoff series CRUSADE.

BELOW: the message. Please read my comments beneath SHADOW’s message.
_______________________________________

"My brother was at (name of mammoth broadcasting entity deleted by Glen) and bagged a memo saying the network is trying to force Crusade to be a mindless sex-and-violence program.

Among the stuff they're demanding: to lose all references to the B5 universe because they think it'll confuse viewers…that episodes should often have aliens beaming into the ship and getting in "wild west" kinds of fist-fights, taking any excuse at all to have these fights, whether they make sense or not...that there should be "horny aliens" getting onto the ship and screwing the human characters...that there should be more technobabble that will make the ship sound more advanced.

He says they also want to have at least one regular series character be a "sexual explorer," whose job is to have sex with every alien race they meet to better understand them...they want a virtual brothel / holodeck...they want to set up the universe so that the entire human race off Earth when the Drakh plague is released start copulating like mad (religiously, kind of like a cult) to repopulate the human race, so they can constantly have people having sex round the clock.

He also told me they want to change to the Star Trek style close-fitting uniforms rather than real military uniforms to show off everyone's body.

Nothing has been set yet though, so if you run this and folks have an opinion on this, they may want to let it be known on the TNT site (follow the BabCom links) before it gets locked down."

_______________________________________


Glen here again.

Okay, folks.

For a while now, BABYLON 5 fans have worshiped TNT. After all, it saved BABYLON 5, enabling series creator J. Michael Straczynski to produce a much coveted fifth season, and a series of television movies based on the Babylon 5 concept. For the first time, the series was put into re-runs on a national network and was broadly advertised. For the first time, BABYLON 5 was being treated as a "real" show.

But even the best relationships can have problems. Maybe it *was* too good to be true. Do I believe the above information re: TNT’s plans is correct?

Yep - sure do. A few months back, TNT was taking some hits in Variety because a Eurpoean producer had come to TNT to pitch an ambitious miniseries based on the life of Jesus. He fled in horror, after learning of the network’s desire to turn Jesus into a dude who would fly around, and *supposedly* hurl lightening bolts out of his hands. So, yeah - it sounds like the same mentality is at work in this case.

In CRUSADE, TNT purchased a show that is very much the product of a man with a vision. And now that vision isn’t good enough? To understand the dynamics of such a circumstance, all one has to do is go to a Barnes and Noble and scoop some books off the shelf about the history of the original STAR TREK series. Sit down and read about all the trouble Gene Roddenberry had getting that show going…keeping that show going…in the face of ideas such as those allegedly being hurled towards CRUSADE by TNT. Ideas advanced by people who have no understanding of the genre with which they are dealing.

And after you’ve read all those lousy ideas, look at the original TREK series as a final product…and find the lousy and disruptive ideas suggested by those NBC executives back in the 60s. You won’t find them easily, because most of them aren’t there. Because Roddenberry and his associates did all they could to stay close to concept as it was originally conceived…the original vision NBC cared enough to back and support at one at one point in time. And thirty something years later, the series is a classic. A perfect example that sometimes, the over-all payoff and future rewards FAR outweigh the value of an immediate…but short lived…cash cow.

I’m not saying Roddenberry was a perfect visionary - not by any means. Not saying Straczynski is either. But these circumstances seem eerily similar, and those who don’t learn from history…

CRUSADE *can* work. But it will not work if forced to become something it was never meant to be. So, good fans, if any of this makes any sense to you - or moves you in any way - go to the message boards at TNT THROUGH THIS LINK (THEN FOLLOW THE BABCOM LINKS), and let them know what you feel. Be direct, be pointed, but *always* be polite. This is important.

A hint from Glen: voicing your opinions to TNT on this matter is *strongly* advised. And remember, *never* start a fight, but always finish it.

Readers Talkback

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  • Sept. 8, 1998, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Crusade Crisis

    by Mina

    I wonder how true this story is since Crusade is already shooting its third or fourth episode? I don't think TNT can pull the plug on the show if Straczynski doens't do it the way they want him to because they've already comitted to 22 episodes. Maybe this is something they tried beofore and were already voted down. did anyone try asking the people who do "Crusade" about it?

  • Sept. 8, 1998, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Utter Nonsense

    by Bob D

    Utter nonsense. This is complete bullshit. Anyone who seriously believes a word of this garbage ought to have his or her head examined. The lead-in movie of the week, "A Call To Arms," is long completed. And the first season of "Crusade" began production on August 3, 1998. That means that Babylonian Productions is probably halfway done shooting the fifth episode by now. So you expect us to believe that a quarter of the way into production of the season, TNT, who up to now has *never* bothered JMS creatively, has decided to make all these radically stupid changes that will completely distort the budding franchise which has, thus far, done extremely well for the network? Laughable. And as for the bit about the European producer and his Jesus miniseries, that doesn't hold water either. TNT has shown nothing but class with their Old Testament movies. I don't recall them turning Joseph or Moses into Underoos-wearin' superheroes. Come to think of it, TNT has shown nothing but class with almost everything they do, including Babylon 5. Sure, wrestling is their highest-rated show, but no one is perfect. Calm down, Glenn. Not a word of this is true, and you know it. At least I really hope you do.

  • Sept. 8, 1998, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Re: Crusade Crisis

    by coaxial

    Glen here...as far as the "truth" of the story: since this article was posted, I've received more confirmation that...indeed...the story is more or less accurate. There's a margin for error in details here and there, but the *essence* of the story appears solid. As far as the network's committment to the show? The network is free to press for whatever changes it feels appropriate, at any point in the production. "Crusade" is currently moving into filming the fourth episode of the series, if I am not mistaken. I believe script number eight or nine has just been written. Still leaves more than ten episodes in the season to advance the wonderful and wacky changes proposed by TNT. Of course, TNT could well say this was never to be the case. As the article indicates, this information was gleaned from internal documents the network may not be particularly eager to discuss openly. But lemme ask you this: do you *really* think I would be so alarmist and irresponsible as to post a story like this...and to encourage fan mobilization...without having a pretty good idea that the information in the article is essentially correct? Does this suggest I know more than I am letting on? I consider myself very good at admitting I might be wrong. And in this case...no matter what comes from TNT...I am comfortable in the knowledge that I am not wrong...**Glen**

  • Sept. 8, 1998, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Re: Utter Nonsense

    by coaxial

    Glen here...Re: the Jesus miniseries. It was covered in Variety rather fully a few months back. Go back take a look at it if you need proof, it's a true story and it's all out there. Re: the "knowing better". I know the truth. You, apparently, do not. You don't know the people I know, or have the connections I have. For you to so catagorically dismiss this article...with such absolute and blind certainty...is as irresponsible and misguided as you suggest me to be. Why are you so *angry*, by the way? Is the possibility that a network you respect may be capable of making a misstep every once in a while too much for you to deal with? It's called BUSINESS, and "the way of things". Go find the Jesus story, then we'll talk again of you like.**Glen**

  • Sept. 8, 1998, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Sounds like a joke

    by Fleegle

    I alomost think that the original E-Mail that spawned this "scoop" was a joke. TNT has shown nothing but respect for Babylon 5. I mean, take this part of it: "He says they also want to have at least one regular series character be a "sexual explorer," whose job is to have sex with every alien race they meet to better understand them...they want a virtual brothel / holodeck...they want to set up the universe so that the entire human race off Earth when the Drakh plague is released start copulating like mad (religiously, kind of like a cult) to repopulate the human race, so they can constantly have people having sex round the clock." First of all, I'm sure that even TNT has a Standards and Practices department that would NEVER let them do this, even if JMS begged and pleaded. This sounds more like something that that the Spice Channel would air. Also, I'm pretty darn sure that Joe said TNT is leaving him alone in regards to the content. I believe it's something he insisted on in the contract. Let's post this to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated and see what Joe has to say about the matter.

  • Sept. 8, 1998, 11:24 p.m. CST

    Early April Fools?

    by Chris Andersen

    I'm sorry but this thing sounds very much like a big joke. Read the description in that letter again. It sounds suspiciously like a description of "That Other Show"(tm). I think you need to check your sources again. I think you're going to end up with a lot of egg on your face over this one.

  • Sept. 8, 1998, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Ridiculous

    by EvilKosh

    This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard. JMS would quit the show and the show would be over if they did that. Second, that message is just WAY too silly to be true. Third, if TNT wants a mini-series with Jesus Christ as a superhero with lightning bolts, please have them contact me! I will do it, and I work cheap!

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Glen's report is true, people

    by Logan 26

    People, it is important that you understand that Glen's reporting on this is *true.* I sent an inquiry to someone deeply connected to B5 and Crusade (you are all familiar with his initials) and I asked him about Glen's report. His one sentence reply was: "I wouldn't rule out that the story is correct; his sources are impeccable." Take that statement any which way you want, but I think it's pretty clear. Glen's got the truth folks. Instead of complaining to Glen for being the bearer of bad news, I'd suggest writing to TNT by pen and stamp, and by email, and by any means neccessary, to make it clear to them, that if they are going to take Crusade in this wrong headed direction, we don't have to stand for it. Cordially, Logan

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 12:33 a.m. CST

    Balderdash. There are better falsities at www.urbanlegends.com

    by Chairboy

    I've got to admit, my gut feeling is pretty strong on this being incorrect. Gods, if I were looking for leaks, my first order of business would be to dish up some disinfo and see what makes it out. If this source is as reliable as you claim, I suspect it will no longer be available after this debacle.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 1:31 a.m. CST

    additional targets

    by cripster

    To those of you who are being proactive on this issue, I would suggest, in addition to putting pressure on TNT, that their advertisers also be targeted. And as quickly, and with the largest numbers possible. If anyone has contact info on any of the appropriate advertisers, please pass it on.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 3:03 a.m. CST

    sex in the B5 universe

    by ASCII Boy

    Ugh, the thought of heightened sexuality in Crusade makes me puke. I'm not at all prudish or anything but, honestly, JMS' handling of sex and sexuality throughout B5 has been unconvincing, goofy, amateurish, silly and just plain UNsexy (i.e. the contrived relationship and courtship between Sheridan and Delenn -- zero chemistry between the actors, the bisexuality of Talia Winters which never was realistically explored nor justified for even bringing up, Marcus pining for Ivanova, Zack for Lyta, Londo bragging about his dick...the list of offenses goes on and on). I ask: What makes TNT even think JMS can pull off cranked-up sex on Crusade convincingly without going full out and turning the series into a sci-fi porn opera (hmm...Flesh Gordon: The Series...)? JMS is best at writing stories where people are yelling at each other over "big" issues (this is no insult by me). TNT would have better luck converting Crusade into a comedy -- another thing JMS seems to think he can write well (which he can't).

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Protesting to TNT

    by scott

    For heavens sake peole CALM DOWN!!! Until this is CONFIRMED by a totally reliable, named, official source, i.e. JMS, then it remains a RUMOUR!!! Bombarding TNT and their advertisers with protests at this point in time could be absolutely disastrous. IF this turns out to be 100% true then yes, bombard them with polite protests till their email shuts down in shock, but until then hang fire. Remember what the BBC did when Dr Who fans were finally considered too vocal to be tolerated...

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 4:59 a.m. CST

    This is like a bad USENET troll

    by Count Zero

    Someone is trying to overrun the e-mail servers at TNT. Jesus, Harry, I actually used to respect you.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 5:09 a.m. CST

    TNT email server

    by scott

    Hey, Count Zero, this true? Some berk is trying to do their server? How stupid can some people be??? I say again everyone CALM DOWN! Get a SENSE OF HUMOUR! Get a SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE!! Get a VALIUM!!! Anything, but please just CHILL. Until JMS says something this is a storm in a teacup! Good grief...

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 6:10 a.m. CST

    Get a grip!

    by Torm

    If this vere true, JMS would be the first to gather all the net-users in protest...

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 7:39 a.m. CST

    I had a good laugh

    by david

    I didn't realize the date today was April 1, 1998.4411, but the calculator don't lie. :-) The absolute most I could possibly see this thing getting is if one person at TNT wants to do this crazy stuff and is pestering everybody he (she?) knows about it. I have no doubts, absolutely none, that anything in this rumor will ever come to pass. davidh

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Entertainment reporting

    by dastinson

    Remember the first rule of entertainment reporting: somebody out there has a gripe. (And I'm not referring to you or Harry, Glen). The Variety article is a good example - just because someone told Variety doesnt mean its true - anymore than rumor columns in USA TODAY's entertainment section (an allusion to an oft quoted troll in the B5 newsgroups). Ted and his network are known for being fair to the works they do - contrary to the beliefs of Variety. From the biblical histories on, they tend to keep things going pretty straight to the story. I'll believe this when AND ONLY WHEN JMS states it as such. I've seen too many of these along the way.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Why be shocked?

    by Shad

    Why is anyone shocked that this could happen? A big corporation like TTW can do what it wants and strip creative control from anyone at anytime. In our little geek universe, JMS is a pretty big cheese, in the larger world of media oligopoly, he is not a player. In the words of the hippie chick in Up in Smoke, " In this town, contracts mean dick." I mean, this is the same company that gave us colorization and CNN, which is increasingly similar to TSN on B5. JMS made deals with the big boys and has gotten away with alot more than most visonaries do for five years now. Guess the ride is over... hope he lands on his feet with another company who will give him some freedom, at least for a couple of years.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Crusade?

    by Jack Nichols

    No doubt Clinton will somehow be in charge of this brave new world of sensual exploration on the show? Seriously though, can you say FREE INTERNET PUBLICITY!?! Anyone who knows even just a small portion of the Babylon 5 history, knows that JMS will pull up and yank the carpet out for reasons far less critical... Sitting back, laughing MAO!

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 9:33 a.m. CST

    BABYLON 5 CRUSADE

    by ASLAN

    Regarding TNT's supposed meddling with Crusade, I have heard JMS say time and again that he waited so long to make B5 because he wanted complete creative control. Now that he's a success, there's no way he'd make a deal with TNT that would give up that control. Maybe TNT wants to mess with Crusade but JMS ain't gonna let it happen.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 9:48 a.m. CST

    TNT's "Meddling in B5 Crusade"

    by michael

    I don't know if you've been following the messages from JMS, but I think this guy and his "memo" are yanking your chain. No way would JMS do the series if he didn't have control. They've already starting filming and there are no hints as to anything like this going on with TNT. The memo sounds familiar because he is taking the circumstances that happened with Star Trek and painting B5 over it. I know that there could be a chance that this is happening... but I think you shouldn't take this rumor as fact and urge other people to message TNT over something that has not been proven. There has been no hint of any problems between JMS and TNT. I think I would give both of them a little credit, especially TNT for coming in and airing Season 5 knowing they would only have one season.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Ive got it!

    by Torm

    Ive got it! I knew i had heard that plot before... Can anyone say "LEXX"? ;-) Have a nice day....

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Life with Networks

    by Scribbler

    What I've read here in reaction makes me wonder about you guys. Harry & Glen come across as trying to be careful about their sources (they wouldn't have the rep they do if they didn't). Yet, the reaction is either hysteria (assuming it to be true) or dismissive (assuming it to be false). Look at it this way, if the rumor is true - wouldn't it be a good idea to let TNT know that the reason we watch B5 & would watch CRUSADE is that we trust JMS as a storyteller? That it the show goes off in such ST:VOYAGER cloned directions, WE WON'T WATCH!!!! The point is, even if the rumor is FALSE, THAT sort of feedback is pretty powerful. Believe me, JMS isn't necessarily going to broadcast every single battle he has with powers-that-be. But I imagine the battles ARE there, and he does have to fight them. I've heard enough inside stories about different series to know there is likely to be some truth to this one. Remember, Chris Carter had to fight the powers to cast Gillian Anderson in X-FILES! The Powers wanted a bikini-babe. Duh. Take the time, and THOUGHTFULLY let TNT know just WHY you will follow JMS anywhere, and will not accept stupid dreck.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 11 a.m. CST

    What a load of bollocks

    by Broome

    This is even worse than the "episode 1 footage want be out till 2000" rumour.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Crusade in the 25th Century

    by Traveller

    I hope to dear God that those rumors are not true. That they are dim recollections of the piece of tripe that was Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard series).That they are the fevered rumblings stired up in the insane chaos fabric that is the internet. If they are legit, let's hope JMS's vision, integrity, and support of the viewers is enough to resist. Like any worthwhile effort such as this, it would be better dead than mutated into the clueless network exec suit demographic research group non creative nightmare that that article portrayed. Witness what happened to the Tim Burton Superman film. It sounded like a nightmare in the making. Sci fi and superheroes have had more than their share of schlockey attempts at pulling in the easy money and "stupid" masses. NO MORE!!! If it can't be done right, kill it. Readers should note that, despite a successful track record, one of the reasons Quantum Leap was ended was that NBC was pushing for all kinds of lame ideas for the show that their idiot consultants said would pull in a wider demographic. Bellisario pulled the plug rather than see his creation destroyed. So he capped the series with a very fine ending, but leaving it open with the possibility for more. That is the way it should be done. Only continue if QUALITY can be assured. NO MORE SCLOCK!!!!

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 11:38 a.m. CST

    What a load of garbage

    by Meridian

    Not only is this a joke, but a particularly bad one. It's in poor taste and isn't even the least bit convincing. Want to know the really cute thing, though? Reread the original. It probably was a genuine E-mail or memo that came from a TNT executive. However, it was just a joke - and, looking at it, probably mainly there to make fun of Star Trek. Holodeck? A sex officer? Shades of Kirk/Riker, don't you think? Relax, kids. Someone is yanking your chain - I'm just surprised so many people are falling for it and some people insist on defending it as legitimate.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 12:43 p.m. CST

    The Memo

    by Joe Straczynski

    I can only say for the moment that I am not able to officially confirm or deny this report. jms

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Spoof Warning

    by Chris Andersen

    There have been a couple of postings on this thread purportedly from Glen and another from JMS. However, Harry made an announcement a few days back that he and Glen would not be posting to Talk Back until such time as they could guarantee that no one could spoof their names (or the names of other "famous" individuals). Since I've heard no announcement from either Harry or Glen that this policy has changed, I can only assume that the posts from Glen are spoofs (as is the one supposedly from JMS).

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 1:47 p.m. CST

    JMS spoof

    by Gandalf The Grey

    Its definately not JMS, especially becuase he dropped his AOL account a few months ago.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Let's see here ...

    by Joe Straczynski

    ... I typed in jmsatb5.aol.com for this post's email address. I am not him. If you can read this, it means this board's software cannot distinguish between real and bogus addresses. So the post from JMS might not really be from him

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 2:41 p.m. CST

    B5 spinoffs

    by Monster Zero

    And don't forget the new Saturday morning kids' shows coming up ... there's Teen Rangers, in which a diverse group of young human and Minbara Anla-shok trainees have wild and crazy adventures in their customized White Star hot rod while imparting wholesome, politically correct life lessons in each episode; then there's the New Spoo Adventures, in which Londo and Vir get fed up with the Centauri royal court and relocate to a remote Spoo ranch, get involved with the lives of the cute little talking Spoo babies that live there and have to constantly intervene when the sweet little guys get into all sorts of crazy trouble ...

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Ha Ha Very Funny

    by Lance Heiskell

    Copulating all over the cosmos. Please. What is this... Caligula 5: Bumping Uglies Huh? Next time wait till you get more facts.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I dont think so

    by daphonz

    This doesn't sound like TNT to me. From what I've seen for TNT movies and shows, they usually represent a high quality of production. Ever see George Wallce? It has 11 emmy nominations! This doesn't sound like a studio that would have Jesus flying around with thunderbolts and making Sexual Explorers on Crusade. This rumor has gone waaaaay out of hand.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Memo is real

    by Logan

    People, first off the note above from JMS is from JMS, the real JMS. And look at what he said: "I can only say for the moment that I am not able to officially confirm or deny this report. jms" It's in his style of prose writing, it's from his email address which he still uses, and it makes sense. I mean if someone wanted to impersonate JMS in regard to keep this story alive, wouldn't such an imposter say something like "hell yeah it's true"? Think people. But, look at what he did say. He did not confirm it, but more importantly he did not deny it. If it were 100% false, all he would need do is to deny it. But, he said he's not offically able to confirm or deny it. See, he can't confirm it because if he does TNT will get quite upset with him. But, he's not going to deny it either, because he's not going to lie or mislead people. He has to walk a tightrope. So, rather than confirming it, his non-denial, non-confirmation, implies that the memo is true and factual. So, at this time instead of these silly debates as to if that was really him, or if that was really Glen Oliver posting and other non-sense, direct your energies to writting to TNT, in polite but firmly worded messages that their suggestions for Crusade are idiotic. Then, just sit back and see how it plays out, and see what and if JMS has anything further to say about this matter in the near future or there about... Logan

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Just A Demonstration

    by Joe Straczynski

    NOTE: I AM NOT REALLY JOE STRAZYNKSI I am just making this post in order to demonstrate to Logan and others just how easy it is to fake a posting from Joe. Yes, even the e-mail address is correct.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Re: Spoof Warning

    by coaxial

    Glen here...YES, I am really posting to the COAXIAL portion of the site. Harry stopped doing so over at his movie section, I did not. If anyone has *any* doubts as to whether or not *I* am really posting, feel free to quote a line or paragraph from the talkbacks, drop it in an e-mail addressed to me, and ask for my confirmation. I'll write you back with a "yeah, it's me" or a "nope it's not". Thanks for staying alert about the possibility of imposters, though. Again, don't be scared to ask...**Glen**

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 4:27 p.m. CST

    I've read about your new Babylon 5 series that's coming out. . .

    by Kelly Crutcher

    I've read about your new Babylon 5 series that's coming out. . . But I have a few things to say about it- If you're putting in all new characters: no Sheridan; no Delenn; ect-}I'm going to be EXTREMELY PISSED OFF!!!!!! John Sheridan and Delenn are my two favorite characters on that show and my reasons for watching Babylon 5!!!!! Please keep the same characters on the new show!!!!! Please???????????????????????????? -Kelly Crutcher{a major John and Delenn fan}

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 5:14 p.m. CST

    New characters n' stuff

    by Mina

    Kelly -- you are out of luck. Not to mention out of the loop. Delenn and Sheridan are not in "Crusade" as main characters. Neither is anyone else from "b5". It's the same universe, toally different people. Sorry about that. Those of us who follow the reports and Straczyinski postings over the last few years have known that forever. Glenn -- I never meant to insinuate in any way that you were lying or hadn't checked your sources. I'm sorry if it came out that way. I was just questioning the source and/or how old the story was. When did the source see this memo? Were things resolved since then? Did you get anyone from the show to confirm? I know sometimes they won't -- and even now if that is straczyinski writing in, he is not denying it but isnt confirming it either which means that maybe some of it is true and some of it isn't. plus perhaps there are one or two people pushing for this, not the whole TNT staff or whatever. Or it might be a distortion of what was actually asked for since things often get blown out of porportion in office memos. hope that clears some things up. i never meant to dis you, Glen. sorry! --Mina

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 5:42 p.m. CST

    The JMS Post is Real

    by Wiz33

    The exact same message from JMS have appear on the Babylon 5 forum on compuserve from JMS's compuserve account. It is in response to a message topic that I started after reading the coaxial new.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Let's wait

    by Frankel

    In the past ( for example when season five looked like it wouldn't happen) when the newsgroups have wanted to rally behind a cause, JMS has often asked us to wait before we started jotting-off rash memos to the studios. Until Joe asks us to start a campaign to deter TNT's interference, I think we should remain cautiously watchful and let him handle it as he deems appropriate. We all know if he needs our help in any way that he will ask for it and our response "will be awesome to behold". DGF

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 6:08 p.m. CST

    JMS & Crusade

    by jennifer

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 6:13 p.m. CST

    jms & crusade

    by jennifer

    Let me try this one more time... I agree with the person who just posted the "let's wait" message. Why jump the gun on what could be a touchy fight? JMS has always impressed me with a fighting attitude, I can't imagine him giving up so much creative control of his show! It's important to keep all over TNT if this is true and JMS asks for help, but if folks go crazy like I'm reading here, it could send producers into overload! Wait it out....J

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Crusade crapola

    by marlowe2

    Come on, Glen. You know sources very close to the inside? What kind of rumormongering bullshit is that? If TNT was trying to fuck with Crusade in any way both JMS and Harlan Ellison would walk. We would have known about it for a fact from the source not from "someone who works with someone in the mail room". Maybe someone in TNT is making stupid suggestions but every television network has some yokel making suggestions. <p> As for Roddenberry's "vision" he didn't have one. He had one stupid story idea that he recycled over and over again (Enterprise meets God and God is childish) and a fuzzyheaded pacifist idea that worked for three years of the original show and got stale somewhere into the third movie. (and would have gotten much more stale had not the original series been cancelled). <p> I'll write to TNT to tell them how the success of B5 depends on the storytelling ability of JMS, but geez, what a load of shit is your story.<p> Tim <p>P.S. Maybe if Jesus did shoot lightening bolts it wouldn't make his story so utterly lifeless and stupid. The only time Jesus wasn't a boring story was when Scorcese gave him a Brooklyn accent and a libido.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Uh huh and...

    by grant

    Oh, sure, and Eddie Izzard's going to play the ninth Doctor, that is, just after we get the Atlanta-made Doctor Who cartoon series and the Kids WB Kingdom Come series. Assuming 40% of the footage was blurry.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Oh Please!!!

    by Supreme Inquisitor

    Okay, if this happened, JMS would say that he wouldn't do Crusade, all B5 fans who will be a major portion of the viewing audience for Crusade wouldn't watch the show and TNT has to be smarter than that!!!!! I don't know where the person who reported this got his information but I will assure you that it is not true. You can't do a spinoff by not ever mentioning the original series or having some tie ins with the original series. Imagine what Star Trek TNG would have been like without the Klingons or Romulans!

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 8:07 p.m. CST

    B5:Crusade rumor

    by H T Werbie

    I'm inclined to disbelieve the rumor; if it were true I think JMS would have resigned on the spot. Remember, this is the man who wouldn't do _Earth: Final Conflict_, nor would he do a sixth season of B5. It's impossible to imagine he'd turn _Crusade_ into a _Voyager_ clone.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Yes and No

    by C Scipio

    I don't know what "sources" some of you have. But I've got a friend of a friend who . . . Anyway, the 'sexplorer' bit is the kernal of truth in this fiasco. Although the recommendation on the part of TNT makes sense. Think about it, if a cure is not found then "hybrids" might be a necessary answer. Further, the sexplorer is not quite a "sexplorer" in the sense of sexuality as an explorer of reproductive options . . . And don't worry, none of this "any specieces can mate with any other" star trek nonsense is going to happen either. I hope everybody can relax now.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 8:36 p.m. CST

    TNT's Strategy On This One

    by Craig Riekena

    Okay, let's talk a basic programming stategy here. TNT knows that the B5 fans fill its mail boxes nearly constantly over every change in the show (characters, air times, etc.). Now, it just so happens that there is going to be a little MORE sexual content in Crusade than B5 has been known for (it does actually sell after all), perhaps a Jeri Ryan suited type or whatever. They release or a arrange to have this outrageous info 'leaked' to get everyone upset and then later (next week)announce that 'we have heard you and are just going to be putting in a little more sexual content. It's necessary for a five more years contract.' Like they always intended. We feel good because they 'listened to us' and they get the content.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Awaiting word from JMS

    by dalan

    My roommate and I agree that we need to wait and see what JMS has to say about this rumor when he is able to comment. Until then, let's stay calm. As alarming as the rumor may be...

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 8:58 p.m. CST

    so-called rumormongering

    by Striderman

    One thing I've noticed since AICN started doing their talkback section, is that there are a lot of people out there who either don't think or take things entirely too personally. Many people out there are calling Glen and Harry rumormongers and saying that they are only putting these things up to get a rise out of us. In case you haven't noticed, rumors are the name of the game here. Ever since I've been checking the site, there have been numerous rumors, and neither Harry nor Glen have denied that. They have promoted the same attitude I will promote here. Take everything with a grain of salt. They know not everything here is correct, and they have never hidden that. When they actually vouch for the veracity of a rumor, I still consider it a rumor, but I am inclined to believe them. On a separate but somewhat related note...about that post above that is supposed to be from jms. I figure it probably was, on the basis of the fact that he actually CORRECTLY spelled Straczynski, a feat that has rarely been correctly performed by the people who write in here. In closing, remember... pretty much everything here is a rumor, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are wrong or right. =-db

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Shocked, shocked

    by Cer

    As described, it sounds silly, but the essence of the news here seems to be that some TNT execs are pushing for more sex and violence on a show under their aegis. There is no indication how serious a push this is, or if it's just kibitzing. This is shocking? This provokes howls of incredulity?

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Could Be

    by Grendel

    I don't know who C. Scipio is, except maybe a roman general (and one who gave a bum email address). But I've heard the same rumors. That someone at TNT didn't think Crusade had enough traditional sci-fi type stuff like artificial life and inter-species sex stuff. You know, the stuff that STNG and Voyager are filled with ( and both do poorly). Apparently some exec type wanted a more trek feel, and was especially pushing the sexplorer idea as well as some cloning stuff. Haven't heard word one about increased violence, in fact, TNT production people are suppossedly under orders to scale back any violence. Sure the memo sounds like bunk, but like that other guy said, there do seem to be kernels of truth its based on.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Crusade and TNT

    by vino

    My personal opinion is that anyone who could believe either of these rumors, (Babylon 5 or the Jesus Show).... are a few cards short of a full deck. I can not believe you would think that TNT would do this to their programming. Do not get me wrong ... They are no saints and I HATE what they have done to their Time Slots (B5 repeats at 5:00 pm cst and Season 5 at 9:00 pm cst) ... and I HATE what they have done to their Chat Rooms (that JAVA Crap of a chat room and the Pacific Feed completely destroying LIVE chat)... But, I can not see anyone trying to palm either of the shows that have been described off on the public. Folks should use the brain that they were supposedly born with and think about it.

  • Sept. 9, 1998, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Sex, Violence & B5

    by Frank

    OK. I have read all the postings to this issue, and here is my spin on the whole lot: First of all, I feel that Glenn and Harry are providing details of an issue that they must have some insight on. This publication depends on their integrity and why would they want to risk that??? Secondly, what if it were true?? Listen, I am a rabid B% fan like the next person, enamored of JMS story telling and such, but to put some perspective to the issue, IT IS ONLY A TV SHOW!! When it looked like B5 might not come back for the 5th season, I was somewhat vocal, but as I stopped to consider things, I realized that ultimately my life would continue without B5. I would like to note, I would no longer watch the show if TNT did as this rumor suggests. I would also very like reconsider watching the network at all. This is what I would note to TNT and see if they make the appropriate decision in keeping with their viewers requests, requirements, or demands. Lastly, to the people who seem to feel that a production of Jesus the Superhero would be a good idea, it only goes to show how little taste you have, or how little you care about how something as significant as religion is to people. Whether you agree with the Bible, religion, or think that it's all a bunch of crap, it would at least be reasonable to consider while you might not share that belief it is important to others. Treating things of this nature with respect is the least that someone should do. I'll now get down from my soap box and hope for the best regarding B5 Crusades.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 2:39 a.m. CST

    what to take seriously

    by ASCII Boy

    First issue: I doubt that most of the people posting about what a great idea a Super Jesus series would be are being serious. They're joking, and I for one am quite amused along with them. Second issue: We, the consumers of the product (the news) posted on this site, shouldn't have to apologize for questioning the validity of anything that is presented -- despite the fact that this is, essentially, a rumor Website. This very sort of attitude is why the American public has a low opinion toward the media. Now, personally, I have nothing against Glen, but he shouldn't feel too offended with explaining as much as he can about how he came across his information, where he got it, admitting anything that could be possibly dubious about the scoop, and then letting us decide and argue with one another what's true and not. Third issue: I believe that this infamous memo exists in some manner, but, really, what does it actually MEAN? For example, maybe TNT's 'xec-heads simply want Crusade to be more action-oriented than B5. The uniforms: Haven't they already been made for the series since it's been in production for a while now? Maybe the network and the production are discussing modifying the uniforms, and this is boiling down to an aesthetic argument between both sides. The sexplorer: Perhaps this is just a doctor-type character who is researching the anatomical and cultural sexuality of non-human races in relation to the plague back on Earth -- and not simply a flat-out hooker looking for a bizarre lay. References to B5: Perhaps the network wants JMS to let go of arcane references to historical events in B5 and building episodes around stuff like this. I say, GOOD. Crusade needs to be its own show. Even DS9 and Voyager had to create their own niche's and identity within the Trek universe. I want new characters, conflicts and events to watch in Crusade and not have to see Lyta, Franklin or some other B5 cast member guesting every other episode. Let's move on. The idea of a human "sex cult": I don't know what to make of this one. Perhaps this will be JMS' latest attempt at doing a comedy-oriented episode. Sex + comedy in the B5 universe. Let the cringing begin.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 7:35 a.m. CST

    In Jest there is Truth

    by rachel

    Ok, so someone sent a memo saying something along the lines of there should be more sex and violence in Crusades. It is quite likely to be true that that has happened. What I don't believe is that it is to the extent that the original message here implies. That sounds like a little too much to me, but it is enough to get a reaction. And a friend of mine always did tell me that in every joke there is a kernal of truth, I think the same thing can apply to a rumor. However, I do not think that we should bombard TNT over this. Some changes were sugested. I trust to JMS ability to keep his vision true. Just because TNT sugests something to him, be it sex, violence, a dancing polar bear or what have you, does not mean that he has to follow this sugestion. It also doesn't mean that he won't follow it. In the end Crusades will be what it is that he wants it to be or it won't happen. TNT doesn't have enough control to do that. As for the message from him, I have trouble believing it is real for one reason. It came too quickly on the tail of everyone saying they won't believe this until JMS says something. So then JMS says something that can be interupted in numerous ways and God has spoken. It could be him, I don't think it is. But I also don't think that this is a crisis.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Concerning lies, truths and rumours.

    by Aris Katsaris

    The people stupid enough to believe the words of the jms imposter, all I can say is I feel sorry for them. Jms has repeatedly said that he will not be posting anywhere where he is not a regular, like the usenet newsgroups, and said that every other message is by imposters. Imposters have used jms' name even in pedophilia newsgroups. It's an effort to discredit him and B5. The guy who insisted that it was really jms who posted: Shame on you. Are you telling me that jms would post a message that said nothing and convince everyone of the opposite? What would he have to gain? Since not even you can be so silly, I believe that you were the original impersonator. On the rumour: I trust that the rumour may be correct in that there was such a memo. It doesn't mean that such changes will happen. In cases such changes will happen, Crusade will be the most dreadful series in sci-fi or television in general. I will refuse to watch it or even mention it. I will not consider it canon. And I will be glad to have it disconnected with B5, therefore the deletion of references to B5 will be for the best. The last guy who actually supported some of these changes, like the sexfreak. I am disgusted with the idea. But I assume that you're the kind of audience this kind of Crusade will draw. Are you seriously trying to tell me it could be done in a manner that would actually promote serious sci-fi? Help sf evolve in television? Be intellectually stimulating? Nobody is so stupid. Don't try to justify such changes: They are inexcusable. And I have continuously said that Crusade needs to find its own identity. That we don't need characters from B5, that B5's story is over. But frankly B5 described the most important events in a millenium. Are you telling me that everyone will simply forget them? That noone must mention them? B5 always counted on its future history. That's part of its appeal. Crusade must do the same. In short: Jms postings were made by imposters. The rumour may or may not be correct. Even if it's correct it doesn't mean TNT will go through with the changes. If the changes do happen though, Crusade will be the worst Series ever, and it would be better for sci-fi and the memory of B5 that it never got made.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 7:39 a.m. CST

    History suggests...

    by JB Midnight

    If TNT demands changes such as the above, JMS (and Ellison, for that matter) will walk, just like he walked off Real Ghostbusters after excessive corporate meddling. Just like he refused pressure for a sixth season of B5 (from studio and cast alike). He's repeatedly said that Crusade was the only TV project he was interested in doing after B5, so threats of "you'll never work in this town again" likely don't scare him much. I doubt he really *wants* to work in that town again. I feel confident what will appear in Crusade is what JMS wants there. Whether it's good or not is another question, but if JMS's name is listed as Executive Producer, its success or failure is his, not TNT's. If Cordwainer Bird shows up in the credits, though, we all know what happened...

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Re: what to take seriously (from coaxial)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...ASCIIBoy: some very fair points. I don't mind when people question me. Hell, if if've read this site long enough, you'd even know I have *no problem* just coming out and admitting I don't know something, ot that I am wrong. The only problem I have is when people assume I would do something just for the impact of effect or because it seems cool - which smacks of immaturity and irresponsibility on my part. Or complete dismissal of a notion, simply because it seems too fantastic. To me that smacks of the same lack of vision which told the people of old "Man will never fly"..."Man will NEVER go to the moon." The world is a bigger and more complex place than we sometimes choose to acknowledge, but some of us seem blinded to that. I've ALWAYS been the kind of person who has no trouble saying "I am wrong". I don't want to be blindly followed, and I don't want to be accepted without question. We should *always* question "the news", because when all is said and done - not matter how hard one tries - there's always a subjective edge to "the news", I think. So I don't mind the questions, I really don't. But I *do* think it's fair to say that some of the commentary on these "talkbacks" have gone beyond the point of legitimate questioning, towards a level of complete mistrust. Frankly, that bothers me a little. But it's the name of the game. Sometimes people assume we *have* to be wrong, but have no evidence on which to base their assertions, no support save "the party line". That bothers me too - but it's the lay of the land. As far as this CRUSADE thing goes? Let's put it this way. I have never been more comfortable knowing I am correct about something I have posted to this site. As I wrote to one reader who e-mailed in to talk about this issue, even if the rest of the world thinks I am a fucking wacko...forever...I can go to sleep at night knowing I was right, knowing I did the right thing by telling you people about it, and knowing I did my part - if even just a little - to help a show whose fate was becoming increasingly dark. In conclusion, I will say only this: if I am to be questioned, I accept that. But I would also encourage you question others. Whether presidents, co-workers, or TELEVISION NETWORKS. Don't be paranoid, don't always *suspect*. But just take a few moments every now and then to think about how easy it is to hide truths. And think about how the "truth" is sometimes something which can make us very uncomfortable. Thanks for your message ASCII.**Glen**

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Rumors, Bargains and Lies (NOT the episode)

    by AB

    (0) We don't know FOR CERTAIN (although all evidence seems to support it) that this memo exists. (1) We don't know how old this memo is. (2) We don't know how high up this memo is. (3) We don't know what (if any) response was given to this memo. (4) We don't know how much weight was given to the suggestions on the memo. (5) We don't know if the details of the memo have been exaggerated. THAT SAID, a breakdown of the memo (assuming all charges are true. If not, disregard whatever parts are incorrect): (1) Lose all b5 references: 'they'll just confuse viewers.' --Obviously, whoever wrote this does not realize that b5 was originally a cult show, and like all cult shows, even if you grow beyond that core, that core should be respected. Trek knew this - it's why TNG didn't tank before it caught on - because zealous fans watched, and watched, and watched. B5 fans (excepting loudmouths) are a pretty reasonable bunch. Only something as drastic as this would cause a permanent break in the ranks. But it would -- and if they go, they GO. But more on that later. (2) Senseless violence. A major point in B5, and the entire philosophy of the b5/crusade success, is that violence is NEVER senseless -- there's always a good reason if a fight breaks out. True, it may be simply that one antagonist is a bigot - but the point is made, before, during and after, that that's the reason. Senseless violence would not work. (3) Most of the rest deals with sex. Some of the ideas spouted here (the reproduction cult) might work for one ep. (i.e. Gray 17 is Missing, although that ep is regularly in the bottom 5 B5 episodes listing.) But it is NOT repeat NOT something to base an entire show off of. (4) Uniforms -- have already been made. Barring a change at the end of the season, they stay however they were made. NOW: why this will not happen under any circumstances. (1) JMS will kill Crusade with his own hands rather than allow a mindless show to have his name on it. Period. If it stinks, it's dead. (2) JMS has the loyalty of the entire crew. If he walks, the crew will go on strike. Then TNT will have to hire a whole new crew, significantly decreasing the chances of success. (3) The fans will utterly revolt. True, there have been fan revolts before, but not like this. This is killing Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty, replacing them with 12-year olds, and refitting the Enterprise as a cruise ship. It won't happen. Basically: JMS doesn't need our intereference yet. He must negoitate this, and it cannot be interfered with. It may actually be minor, a la' CC's departure. (OK, it wasn't great, but if she hadn't left, we would never have had Lochley, and S5 is still a success.) But if it is bad, JMS WILL turn to us, give it to us straight, and set us on them. And if they dig in their heels, CRUSADE will die. And I, as many others do, would rather see it die than dumb.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 7:59 a.m. CST

    The Network Sez......

    by KB

    Remember this is a memo from a network "SUGGESTING" what they would like to see. Joe has mentioned many times the suggestions WB made including wanting a Christmas episode. I didn't believe this at first but two people who I trust completely when it comes to issues B5 have told me that they DO believe it. On network shows they have a person there on the set all the time to look out for the network's interests but to the best of my knowledge they don't have one on the Babylonian Soundstages. Networks make suggestions on EVERY show on the air from B5 to ER to Seinfeld. It's the biz. Networks and studios ALWAYS know what is best... (LOL!) Look at ST (specifically VOY): Here is a show that is run by a studio committee... why do you think it sucks so badly? The people running the show are a bunch of spineless pinheads that don't want to lose their jobs and are afraid of letting new blood come into the show. Does this mean Joe's going to take these suggestions? Probably not but as a producer working for the company that is paying the bills you have to listen to them... NOT SAYING that Joe, John and Doug will exactly follow their directions but they will have to have meetings and find a common ground. Joe has told stories MANY, MANY times of meetings with the studio... but he is a professional and keeps details to himself. That said... look at the changes made between season 1 and 2: WB wanted changes (including a new captain) or the show wouldn't go back into production... guess what happened? It's the business... all we can hope is that Joe and the folks at Babylonian can convience the Network that their ideas are better..

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 8:27 a.m. CST

    LOL....This is NOT news.

    by The Crusader

    The first rule of good news reporting is to REPORT the news, do not BECOME the news. In the very least you should have verified the contents of this alleged "memo" with either JMS or TNT before posting it. It seems to me that either you received this e-mail and thought it would be good to increase traffic on your site or you made it up yourself. BUT, if this is legit, you still have no excuse for posting this article without knowing all the facts. My 2 cents, (.2 cents after taxes) - The Crusader "The Excalibur is the last, best hope for Earth..." The Crusade http://members.xoom.com/thecrusade

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Wait.

    by Ral Lecarde

    The only commodity we have here is lack of information. I value the service the Harry, Glenn (sp?) and the others here at AICN provide to us absolutely fucking free. I love this site, but I don't have enough information to, like 'jms' said, confirm or deny this. Wait. If you trust jms to write your stories at least assume that he has a decent tactical sense to ask for help if and when he needs it. I believe that fan support may or may not be needed. If a mass of fan letters deluge TNT, it may stifle certain arguments that jms may have to make to keep his control over Crusade. The worst case scenario is that TNT decides the show is not worth having jms being stubborn creatively and tons of fans threatening the studio with non-viewership. I for one would hate to undermine jms' position with the network in even the slightest amount. If fan support is needed he will probably release a statement that indicates the most apropriate time to do so. I will act then because it will give the most help. I don't know what the situation is at the studio. I don't know what the personalities are. I don't know who is asking for the changes. I don't know what ploys people are using to assert their influence. Basically, I just don't know and anyone who does know these things knows if the rumor is just that or not. Jms may not need our help to win this battle (assuming he even wants to win this, he may like what the studio has to say, who knows? :] ) and then we will have squandered what few fan points we have. Use your resources to the utmost. Do not give into an alarmist attitude or squander them on what could possibly be a rumor or even rumor control. All this may be a complete smokescreen. Personally I beleive that Glenn and Harry trust their sources. Or else they would not post the information here because their rep is on the line. This definately lends some credibiltiy to a story I would normally dismiss as useless junk. I would normally adopt the attitude of "jms would never let this happen, he would walk off the set first." This was my gut reaction, but after some thought (and several k of reading) I have determined to wait and see if jms has anything new to say. A certifiable jms, one that could possibly make contact through Harry and/or Glenn to make sure it was secure. If jms has something new to say in this manner I will heed what is said and try and help out if help is needed, as I am a B5 fan and damn proud of it. Always remember that in the world of humans nothing is ever black and white. This may be close to a 80% dark grey.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Re: LOL....This is NOT news (from COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...CRUSADER. Thanks for proving my point. You have NO CLUE what I did to confirm this news, you have no clue where the news came from. You're not questioning...as I encouraged readers to do...you're jumping to a conclusion based on pre-supposition and incomplete facts. Do you KNOW I haven't confirmed this with JMS? Do you KNOW I haven't heard from people at TNT or Warners about it? No - you're just ASSUMING. And, if I may say so, you are assuming incorrectly. Thanks again for proving some points I made in my previous post.**Glen**

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Your point...

    by The Crusader

    If thats the case you should post the verification from TNT or JMS. (even better, have a link to an official confermation on a TNT site, something we can verify other than what you say is the truth). Otherwise it's just plain shoddy reporting. 8^) -The Crusader

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:12 a.m. CST

    BABYLON 5

    by anewrorth

    Here's the latest. For a while now, BABYLON 5 has been untouched regarding final cut by TNT. This time it appears that series creator J.M. Straczynski's freedom to produce the acclaimed series, has come to an end. TNT has directed Straczynski for the first time, to rewrite certain arcs, and character roles due to some of its rather controversial content. Executives want Straczynski to remove alternative life-style arcs and relationships that was included in the final draft. Apparently, Straczynski wanted to define the leading character as a gay man and his relationship with his companion and two sons. Executives also were concerned about its very liberal undertones, such as Conservative bashing, and what appeared to be a whole episode promoting promiscuous life-styles. Other items that were being debated were wanting more one story episodes. This would benefit the distributors by reducing the cost of the show for marketing future reruns. According to July's issue of the Hollywood Reporter set and uniform designs are planned for the new series, which will be less detailed and more sleek. A good bet is that Kim Hallington's hiring, she was the designer for Star Trek TNG, who was overruled for then wanting the Captain to wear a yellow jumpsuit, will have a new influence on what the new digs will be. TNT's CRUSADE, appears to have flip-flopped on its original plans. We may see a Neelix/Tribble character, andless CGI heaven, quoted a staff writer who chooses to remain anonymous. The show will have less battles and more relationships and all that utopian-lets all solve our problems without violence trek like philosophy.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:14 a.m. CST

    It's not as bad as you think

    by Joe Straczynski

    The network told me to put sex and violence into the series and I decided that it would be a good idea. There will still be proper military uniforms but most of the cast will not be wearing their uniforms. I will also be doing Christmas specials along the lines of the Star Wars Holiday Special (a classic) and there will be an alien race introduced who look human except for their large breasts. Why did I do this. Because I wanted to do something different than the dark and brooding Babylon 5.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Official Word

    by The Crusader

    Well - JMS must still have the flu if he confermed what these people say. TNT says something QUITE different. It Follows: =============================== Board: Viewer Complaints Title: Regarding Memo Rumors Author: Kat Slonaker TNT Date: 09/10/1998 TNT has directed no such memo to Joe Straczynski, Babylonian or Warner Bros. As with any series, there is an ongoing dialogue with the creators of the show regarding it's content. Kat Slonaker =============================== For verification purposes this can be found in the TNT chat forum. -The Crusader "The Excalibur is the last, best hope for Earth." The Crusade http://members.xoom.com/thecrusade

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:25 a.m. CST

    on confirmations (from Coaxial)

    by coaxial

    Glen here... The story has been confirmed. To release who has confirmed the story would compromise sources. These sources often give our site news on the condition of anonymity. If I say their names, the world knows who they are - and they're out a job before day's end. We're out a certain level of credibility, and the site goes down in flames. THAT...would be shoddy reporting. Keeping them safe...even at the risk of being attacked by people who read this page...is ethical and responsible reporting. I mean, how many times do you hear on a TV broadcast...or read in the paper... "so and so is citing unnamed sources who indicate_____", and stuff like that. The same rules apply here. Makes my job harder, 'cause to blow the lid off this whole thing would really be quite easy, and rather refreshing after two days of constant criticism. So, I'm doing the best I can in a tight situation. Take it or leave it, like it or not. If you select not to believe me until smeone "real" comes along to confirm or deny? There's nothing I can do to convince you otherwise. It's your choice and I accept that. Until the machines of publicity churn into motion...and god knows where *that *will take us...you'll just have to accept or decline at face value.**Glen**

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Oooh...secret sources

    by marlowe2

    Were your sources named Bob A-Booey and Howard Stern?

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:35 a.m. CST

    TNT response

    by MES

    The TNT employee who responds to things in the TNT B5 forums posted a response to this this morning saying that no such memo was sent to JMS or Babylonian. Two things about this. 1) Kat has always been reliable when she said anything specific. 2) This does not contradict a report of an INTERNAL memo at TNT. Of coarse an internal TNT memo along these lines does not mean the network as whole pushed JMS extremely hard for these changes.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:55 a.m. CST

    JMS "spoof"

    by David Smith

    The first JMS spoof, ("can neither confirm or deny") may or may not be from jms himself, but regardles, it is an exact quote from a message he posted to compuserve 9/9/98. I got this info from the jms on compuserve digest, posted to rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated 9/10/98

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:55 a.m. CST

    TNT's Statement (from Coaxial)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...to be honest, I do not know if the memo in question was internal (which may never have reached JMS), or external (which would have reached JMS). I *believe* it is an internal memo. Based on the strength of my sources (make fun of this all you want), Coaxial's story about TNT's desire to (negatively?) impact CRUSADE stands. Despite TNT's announcement...and based on information from my sources...the story stands unless otherwise notified.**Glen**

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Oh yeah? I heard a rumor too...

    by Chairboy

    That's right, I heard a rumor about Crusade too. I heard that it was going to be funded by Mars/Snickers and was going to include all the cast constantly eating different kinds of candy bars and bartering them for information and goods from the aliens they encountered. The first ones? Gone. But rumor has it they will have left behind a huge stash of what look like twinkies, but those twinkies will have gone bad (because Twinkies are made by Hostess) and will attack the Excalibur, but the combined strength of the Excalibur and Snickers bars will defeat them decisively, leading to a new age of chocolatey goodness. Oh, and I also heard that Katsulas will be playing a role other then G'Kar, he'll be playing Stay-Puff, the marshmellow man. I heard it on the Internet, so it must be true...

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 10:40 a.m. CST

    JMS comments

    by John K

    About all those people saying that JMS said this or that on CIS...I checked the DejaNews server, and JMS has not posted a thing since 9/1. Nothing, nada, zero. I checked Usenet as well, and there is nothing there. My point? Pay attention to B5 history and JMS. If there is something worth writing TNT about, he will let the fans know. He has never hesitated in the past to call on fans to make their opinions known. And as for the memo...I believe it is real, but I doubt it will change a thing. Recall that WB execs, visiting the B5 set during the first season, asked where all the sexy women were. Now look at the show. I the show will come off fine; B5 had its nay-sayers too.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Reasons for skepticism

    by Chris Andersen

    There were very valid reasons to be skeptical of this story as originally presented. First, the memo Glen quoted sounded very much like something that might be produced by some B5 fan as a spoof on That Other Show(tm). I could easily envision someone going "hey, wouldn't it be funny to imagine what would happen if the people behind Voyager were given responsibility for Crusade?" Second, the story, as originally reported, did not make it clear enough whether this was just a random memo passed between executives at TNT or whether it was an outline for actual changes that were going to occur to the show. As others have pointed out, TV execs spend lots of time floating things like this through the ether. Most of these ideas never actually see the light of day. This perhaps should have been more strongly emphasized in the original report. As it was, it was very easy for people to jump to the conclusion that this was in fact what IS going to happen. (btw, Glenn, I'm not questioning your integrity. I don't believe for a minute that you would post an unsubstantiated rumor purely for the purposes of "increasing ratings".)

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 10:50 a.m. CST

    TV brings out the dummies

    by Shad

    Wow, no wonder TV is considered to be lower-brow than movies. I thought there were a bunch of idiots who posted in the Movies section, but they are a much lower percentage than are posting in the Coaxial section. No offense to Glen, I like some TV shows, too, especially B5. I can't believe the denial I am seeing! 1) Glen can't post his anonymous sources. If he did, we would never know about any of this stuff until it was too late! That is the whole concept of this site: insiders who can't keep a secret from their fellow fans but don't want to lose their jobs by attaching names to their leaks. Once one person gets named by this site and gets in trouble, you will never see a post on this site again from an insider and Harry will be selling keychains at comic book conventions again. 2) Are you all jealous of Glen because he has these connections? He and Harry have worked very hard to create a network of spies and have proven time and again that they have access to people at every studio. The number of times they have been right greatly outnumbers the times they have been wrong. Of the times they have been wrong, the vast majority have been prefaced by warnings, disclaimers, etc. that the rumors are just that, rumors, and that they may not be true.3) How could you be so naive to think that TTW couldn't pull this off? In our little fanboy universe, JMS is a big cheese, in the larger world of corporate media oligopoly, he is not a player. Remember, these are the people who brought us colorization, Monday Night Nitro, and CNN, which resembles TSN on B5 more and more. Everyone praised them for saving B5, but they didn't do this out of the goodness of their geek hearts. It was a cold, hard cash deal, nothing more. Also, if you believe that TTW pr person who posts, Kathleen, you are a fool. She either doesn't know about this or is lying, because that is what pr people are paid to do! In the words of the hippie chick from Up in Smoke, " In this town, a contract doesn't mean dick!"

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 11:25 a.m. CST

    JMS *did* post on CompuServe last night

    by Rae

    This is a copy of a message in CIS:BABYLON5 Forum, sent by Rae Augenstein ---------------------------------- #: 46351 S9/Crusade:PreProductn (CIS:BABYLON5) 09-Sep-98 20:09:01 Sb: Crusade Crisis?????? Fm: J. Michael Straczynski 71016,1644 To: XXXXXX Replies: 3 TID: 4654 Par: 46336 Chd: 46359 Sib: 46353 At this time, officially, I cannot confirm or deny the report. jms ---------------------------------- I've been active in the B5 sections on CompuServe for almost five years now. This is a direct reply to the person who reposted Glen's memo on CompuServe. I was there, I saw it. It frightens me.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 11:45 a.m. CST

    B5 fuss

    by Spitfire

    What a fascinating uproar! As if Glen would make things up or something. How ridculous. BTW I looked through the JMS commentary on the newsgroup this morning. JMS apparently made his statement on Compuserve. I don't think DejaNews searches there. Here's my theory - Some idiot and possibly a few other idiots have been discussing this matter internally at TNT. I mean this is prime executive ideoloogy here. That doesn't mean it was put forth as a working mandate. It also means that when JMS says "I cannot confirm or deny" he may be trying to get to the bottom of this himself. I trust Glen and Harry. I know they wouldn't drop this sort of bomb without something to base it on. But I've also been following JMS on the net for much, much longer (almost 4 years.) If he isn't commenting it's either because he can't (lest something get screwed up) or because he doesn't know yet either. However he did not say - don't bug the folks over at TNT about this - so I doubt a little polite protest would do any harm. And why would exposing the source do anything positive? You either trust your reporters or you don't. You can't just start outing these people to satisfy your own curiosity. Not only would no one ever send this place anymore info, but people could lose their jobs.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Credibility

    by JB Midnight

    While I certainly don't have enough information to say whether or not this memo in fact exists, I definitely have no trouble believing that it *could* exist. The suggestions are all empty-headed enough to be totally credible. Anyone who dismisses it on the basis of its stupidity is fooling themselves. Ask Harlan Ellison about "The Starlost" if you don't believe me. (If his name isn't on Crusade, be very concerned.) Or, more recently, watch the original four-hour "V" miniseries, followed by any episode of the godawful series made after the NBC suits chased Kenneth Johnson away. Or consider the notion that Fox execs thought Gillian Anderson too dumpy to play Scully -- and then when she was cast over their objections, pressured Chris Carter to put her in more revealing outfits. If the memo indeed exists, the next question is who sent it, and whom it was sent to. There are infinite shades of context we simply don't have. As I said before, my criterion on this is whether JMS stays on board or not. If he's there, I know he approves of what's up there on the screen. If he's not, I know TNT has taken over. Simple as that.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Good, that worked...

    by John K

    I knew that if I called people out on the JMS message, someone would have the good graces to copy the message directly to the forum. Good. I take his comments in the spirit in which they were intended. Now for the real question. Why would JMS stay on a show that he repeatly said that he would only do if he had complete control over its development? He was rather reluctant to make the show, and he was in talks with TNT for months before he agreed to do it. Why would he cave in now? Again, I am sure that some suit wrote a memo, but so far as Crusade becoming a ST clone? I'll believe it when I see it (or not, if it turns out true and JMS & Harlan bow out).

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Crusade

    by truth

    I've read what has been said above.It's obvious.The rumor is TRUE.Some idiot at TNT is jealous of the director of Bab 5 and since Star Trek is having problems they want to mess up his vision because the show could do something to the Star Trek Universe.The guy who thought it up is insane and completely out of his mind.What a dumb concept.The guy who thought it up is smart because he know the Bab 5 universe.Why would an intelligant person get rid of any hint of Babylon 5 in Crusade.The reason is plain and simple.JEALOUS FAN against Bab 5.Believe me some idiot is trying to mess up Crusade.And right now he's trying to darn well do it.What a jerk.I can't belive this guy

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 1:35 p.m. CST

    new changes.

    by tkip

    Whether or not TNT could force these changes on JM about crusade is kind of moot at the moment to me but doesn't Warner Bros. own all the rights regarding B5? If worse came to worse,then couldn't JM get them involved?

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 1:38 p.m. CST

    on a positive note......

    by The Crusader

    All this has reinforced the fact that B5 fans are VERY passionate about this show. 8^) As to my being jealous of ain't it cool's connections. Nope, I'm not. I don't have all day to find material for my site; it's just my way of contributing back to the show and fan community I've come to love. As to anonymous sources. Heck, I could be a news reporter - Say that an anonymous source told me that the world will end tomorrow - and cause global panic. This is morally and ethically correct? I think not. Sorry, but this is my opinion that you better have a verifyable backup before you report something. - The Crusader

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 2:10 p.m. CST

    JMS didn't want to do Crusade??

    by marlowe2

    What kind of fuzzyheaded logic is that? JMS was only talking about this series from six months into season 4 in B5. The way he's been gushing about what he's going to do with a completely different tangent does not sound like a man who is only doing it because TNT wants him to do it. The months spent in negotion were to ensure that everything in the contract was what he wanted. THe dialogue of fictional characters from "Up in Smoke" notwithstanding. As for Shad calling us all dummies, he has two reasons for slavishly believing in the anonymous sources of what may or may not have been an internal forgotten memo(by the admission of Coaxal). One is that JMS is powerless and two is that TNT is stupid. JMS was much more powerless when he was pitching this show and being called a Trek imitator. He gave us Babylon 5 despite the suits. TNT may be the people that gave us colorization (which they no longer do), CNN (still better than the local news) and Pro-Wrestling (not it's fault but they saw an fan base and did their best to please that fan base), but they also gave us film restoration and preservation money, TCM, and original movies. I'm not saying that a memo like that could not exist, one needs to only watch a little tv to know how easily stupid people get into the script suggestion process, but there is no way that it has any power in the Crusade storyline.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Reply to article about 'Crusade' Crisis

    by Bill Swallow

    Read your message. Definitely something to keep our eyes on, but I sincerely hope it's not true. RE: Your mention in passing about picking up books on the History of Star Trek at Barnes and Noble. I don't know if you've seen any of the books published contemporaneously with the original series, but I highly recommend the following: "The Making of Star Trek", by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry; "The World of Star Trek", by David Gerrold, and "On the Good Ship Enterprise", by Bjo Trimble. Some of these may be pretty hard to find; try www.abebooks.com. I was around while the original series was in first run, and picked up these books then. My point (sorry for the delay) is that while some of the newer books may be valid expansions on these earlier histories of the show, many of them are either 'kiss and tell' at best or revisionist history at worst. Going back to these older books may serve as a useful sanity check against the new ones.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 2:35 p.m. CST

    searching for a company

    by Darth Rabinowitz

    #1 don't laugh at my E-mail address, it was the only one I liked that was not taken #2 About the Babylon:Crusade, Changes reported in the article sound like the show will be ruined. If there is any tampering to make it more like a Babylon Crusade 90210 or Dawson's Crusade. Let JMS keep the show the way it is and don't change anything. #3 THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME. If you or anyone knows the website address or phone number to Babylonian Productions, Inc., I would be very grateful if you could pass it on to me. If you do not have the address than I still thank-you for reading this E-mail.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 2:46 p.m. CST

    My 2 credits

    by Joe Biles

    Ok, I've been a lurker for too long, and it's time I spoke up. 1)Personally I don't believe this bullshit. 2)In response to the message posted by Tim Lieder regarding applying Star Trek's history to Crusade, I have to say: WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH YOU?! True, comparing Crusade to Star Trek is a bad idea, seeing as B5 is 5 times better, but to denigrate both Star Trek and Rodenberry that way is moronic. For one, Rodenberry only had the oportunity to "make god look childish" was in the two pilots. He never was line producer for the series. And I might add that that kind of religious double-talk was never featured on the series. Also, that "lack of vision" as far as it is applied to the features, only applies to the first, which everybody agrees sucked. Harve Bennet and others said in William Shatner's "Star Trek Movie Memories" all about how Gene tried to ruin the films. Finally, I believe Rodenberry did have a "vision," foolishly optimistic as it was, for Star Trek. As a fan of both shows, I can only say that I am offended. Joe Biles P.S. The only crisis that could kill Crusade is a reactionary letter campaign by unruly fans.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Precedents

    by Zahir Blue

    I hope this story is essentially a wild rumor, or overreaction to somebody shooting their mouth off. But I don't think so... Look at "Forever Knight," an unusually good program with supernatural content. For two years it wandered in late-night or syndication, yet retaining a loyal audience. Once USA picked it up, the network suddenly says the show is vying for the same viewers as "Baywatch," so they re-tooled the show--and killed it. They *could* have had a cash cow on their hands, a long-term franchise as valuable as "Highlander" or "Buffy." But they cut their own throats... Not for a moment do I doubt TNT is capable of the same stupidity. Yes, JMS will certainly hold his ground, even pulling the plug if he feels he has to. Might I suggest *WE* do all we can to lend pressure in support? Just because a network would be doing something silly doesn't mean they won't do it...and they *do* listen to their customers, us, when we speak loudly and often enough!!

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Who owns Crusade?

    by ETR

    There are a lot of comments flying about how JMS would never allow this to happen. I agree, if it's within his power. Anyone know who owns Crusade? I don't want to be alarming, and I'm not a regular AICN reader, so I don't have a history with Glen et. al., but keep in mind that if TNT or WB owns the right to make Crusade with or without JMS' presence, JMS would almost certainly stay until he was sure that he had lost the battle. *That's* what worries me about the "unable to confirm or deny" post. If it's not his, then he can't go to the fans until after (or near to when) he loses. There is a precedent. It happened to Stargate. As to the rest, I agree that I'd like to know if this was a memo from some bozo who doesn't really matter (within TNT) or a memo from some (even bigger) bozo who actually matters. --- Eric

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 3:37 p.m. CST

    jms on comuserve confirms glens story

    by andy jackson

    Some folks dont believe the post from jms that showed up here ("At this time, officially, I cannot confirm or deny the report. jms"]. Evidence that this is genuine can be found by using power search in deja news. Look for a message posted to the moderated group from bbarret@johndelenn.com on September 10 1998, titled "JMS on CompuServe (Sept 10, 1998) possible spoilers". You will see the same message.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 3:46 p.m. CST

    ignore the title of my previous post

    by andy jackson

    Oh God! The title of my previous post is a complete screw up. I should have called it "jms on compuserve confirms message from jms posted here" Heartfelt apologies!! As is obvious from the content of the post, jms cannot, officially, confirm or deny glen's post!

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 3:46 p.m. CST

    It's true

    by Logan

    Again it needs to be restated over and over again that the information about the memo as reported on AICN is true. It has been verified and confirmed by the highest sources who are in a position to know. The problem here is that by the time Glen's story is proved to be true, it may be too late to do anything about it. Time is of the essence. Things are moving. Instead of continuing to doubt Glen's reporting please write to TNT and tell them to let JMS run the show his way. Some of you say JMS would never stand for being run over by TNT. That's true. I agree. Some of you think TNT would never act this way. That's naive. It's a network who's goal is to make money. That's their only concern. That's fine. It's their ball park. But, they should let JMS coach his team his way. After 5 years of JMS running B5 you'd think they would trust his judgement and good sense. However, remember that most executives have the intelligence of boiled cabbage. Ever hear about how Kevin Smith was screwed on his script of Superman? Ever hear time and time again how Harlan Ellison has been screwed with? Ever hear JMS's own story about when he wrote for Jake and the Fat Man and had a reference to Ahab from Moby Dick and a suit said he never heard of Ahab, and told Joe to remove the reference. These guys in their cozy offices are not very bright people. Another thing to note: Are all of you who said "Oh that was not Joe posting here" going to apologize now that in fact we know it was Joe posting here, since what he said here, about how he can neither confirm or deny it, is exactly what he also posted on CompuServe and is now posted on Usenet as well. If it were all false, wouldn't JMS just say that? He has to walk the fine line, so that TNT does not view him as getting fans energized at this time, but he's not going to lie and say it's a false story. Obviously his refusal to deny the story means there is at the very least a measure of truth in it. To Crusader and the others, who continue to deny the story, do you have the sources Glen has? That I have? That others have? Have you built up relationships of mutual trust with people at Babylonian Productions? I don't think so. And you know it's not too hard to confirm this story. It was not hard at all to confirm it, when I saught confirmation. It all takes is a little effort, and a lot of comon sense. So, again instead of doubting the story, write to TNT if you want Crusade to be JMS's vision for the show. That's the plain and simple truth of it. TNT will never admit that this is what they want for Crusade. But, the proof will be in what airs in January and Feb. So, stayed tuned and keep your eyes one what JMS has said, and what he will say. And don't let TNT get away with this. Logan

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Calm down...

    by Adam

    I've been following this anxiously waiting for comment from JMS. I'd urge you all to _not_ start writing to TNT until he officially comments more than "I can't confirm or deny" (which, admittedly, scares me too.) I say this for two reasons: 1) TNT has consistently given the impression that they understand that B5 has a huge loyal fan base. They've generally done an excellent job in treating JMS and the show well, as far as we all know. I think it's incumbent on us to give them the benefit of the doubt until JMS comes out and says that they've changed. 2) In the end, it's not really going to matter -- unless JMS is a _very_ different person from the one I've come to know from reading his posts, he'll either do Crusade his way or no way; TNT will have the option of letting him do his show or not having it at all. I'm sure that JMS is capable of fighting his own battles with TNT management. Until and unless he sends out a call to the fans to put pressure on TNT (which he's certainly done before in other situations), I think we should all sit tight and wait to see what happens. Just my 2 cents. Adam

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 4:21 p.m. CST

    rebuttal

    by Shad

    A couple of points for Crusader and Tim Leider 1) First of all, whether anonymous sources fit into your concept of morality is irrelevant. The Supreme Court has established that the use of such sources is constitutional and essential to a free press. To address your "end of world" scenario, the Court has also determined that people shouldn't yell "fire" in movie theaters, so free speech is not absolute. If you wish to use extreme examples, be my guest. Fortunately, we have a court that considers these types of things without being overly reactionary. B5 is not going to cause the end of the world, spandex jumpsuits or no. Also, if anonymous sources were illegal, we would never have found out what we did about Watergate. Also, if you don't like this kind of unverifiable stuff, why are you still coming back to this site? Stick to the Entertainment Tonight web site and Hollywood Reporter and let them spoonfeed you stuff straight from pr people three months after I read it here! You'll feel much safer.... 2) I do not have a slavish devotion to Glen or anyone else at AICN. I think though they have proven themselves to be fairly accurate and determined to remain so. I think the reason so many people are denying this is that they are posting reactions based solely on the original story, which admittedly sounds hoaxy. However, how many times does Glen have to say it: HE HAS CONFIRMATION FROM OTHER SOURCES!HE HAS CONFIRMATION FROM OTHER SOURCES! Stop focusing on the first memo and trust Glen. Glen has a deal with Sonic, in case you hasn't noticed, and knew about that unfunny Seinfeld-Superman commercial six months in advance. He has the connections! 3) I don't think TNT execs are idiots at all! They are just willing to go to the lowest common denominator to meet their bottom line. This is just business. If I had their jobs, I would put wrestling on, too! People watch it. Even though Voyager still sucks, I bet its ratings went up after 7 of 9 showed up. That is the kind of development network execs are paid to watch and reproduce. Who knows, horror of horrors, their strategy might work from a business standpoint!

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Please think clearly on this - it's to catch a leak

    by theone

    Folks, this is for the purpose of catching a leak. B5 has had a number of problems with show storylines leaking before they air. Once syndication problems were removed, it got better, but there are still leaks. The purpose of this memo was to weed out who is still leaking information. Once they have it nailed, jms and TNT will comment.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Hm.

    by Jeffrey and Catherine Sakai

    I'm ALMOST willing to believe the above message... I'm even ALMOST willing to believe that it was posted by Good Ol' Joe himself under the cover of the relative anonymity provided in this forum.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 4:38 p.m. CST

    re: rebuttal

    by The Crusader

    Yes, Indeed I did use an extreme. I did it to show how that line of thinking taken to extremes works. I also saw this as yelling "fire" when there wasn't verifiable facts. Now there is (JMS not conferming nor denying - and TNT outright denying) and I still don't see much weighing in favor of this alleged memo. As to why I came here - I saw a newsgroup posing about this "memo" - The reason why I keep coming back is to see if anything verifiable DOES show up. Simple as that. I agree completely that it's a good thing that the supreme court upholds freedom of speech - but maybe I hold my standards higher than most and if I offend anyone by that I am sorry. Here to a happy outcome to all this... -The Crusader

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 4:47 p.m. CST

    crusade

    by Diane

    Oh please!!! Instead of getting all worked up, simply watch the show when it airs, and if you like it, continue to do so. If you don't, stop watching!! T.V. is not that important!!! Get a life, people!!! P.S. I liked the buck rogers series.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Memo Specifics (from COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...with a little more on "the memo". I have been able to confirm that the memo in question is indeed an INTERNAL memo. In other words, it is a memo meant to be circulated within TNT itself. JMS has likely not seen the memo in person. It was not meant to be sent to him. Instead, it was apparently designed to be used as a series of "prompts" - to be used by TNT to give JMS & the CRUSADE folks a list of "mandates" of changes the network wanted to make to the series (CRUSADE). "Mandates" is... by the way...the word choice of my sources, not my own characterization. TNT's statement that no such memo was sent to JMS, Babylonian Productions, or Warners is indeed correct. It was never sent to them directly, as it was internal. However, its contents were to (are to?) be shared with JMS/WB/Babylonian pointedly and directly at some point in the not too distant future. Presumably, this is what was meant in the part of the TNT statement indicating: "As with any series, there is an ongoing dialogue with the creators of the show regarding it's content..." And yes, that is a direct quote from TNT's official comment. I would remind readers that JMS has yet to comment on this story in the positive or negative. Until I have been *formally* and varifiably corrected, the story continues to stand. Hunch: all of this is going down...behind the scenes...as we are discussing and conjecturing. Just a guess, but keep it in mind. Now opening up the floor for further flaming...**Glen**

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Uhhh....

    by Jeffrey and Catherine Sakai

    ...is it just me, or did Glen's last post just disappear???? What's going on? I hit refresh and it was suddenly just gone.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 5:25 p.m. CST

    ATTN: ROSENCRANTZ!!!(from COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...Sorry - VERY sorry - I was a fuck-up and accidentally deleted your post whose text began with "Maybe Glen should post..." I feel really badly about it, it was my own clumsy click of the mouse. I wasn't censoring or shutting you out. PLEASE feel free to re-post.**Glen**

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 5:30 p.m. CST

    It's NOT "to catch a leak" (from COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...the memo wasn't put out to catch a leak. The memo WAS leaked, however. Whether or not TNT pursues or catches the person who leaked it is completely happenstantial.**Glen**

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 7:51 p.m. CST

    TNT official comment

    by ETR

    Glen, you refer to the "official comment" from TNT. Can you give us a reference on that? I agree that *polite* messages to TNT are appropriate. Even though I'm still on the fence, I don't see a problem with a message to TNT that says "I assume this is an unsubstantiated rumor, but I feel strongly enough that even the chance of it being true makes it worth writing..." etc., etc. One can react without over-reacting. I'll write mine later tonight or over the weekend.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Authenticity

    by Jimmy Ho

    Glen, have you considered archiving your comments on some separate part of this site that outside users have no ability to change? It seems like that would help with prevent forged identities. Perhaps the same with jms postings. Alternatively, there's always PGP Encryption. You can "sign" a document with your private key, so at least some people will be able to confirm you or jms' identity (i.e. the people who bother to get the software, which, by the way, is not that hard to use). http://web.mit.edu/network/pgp.html

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 11:49 p.m. CST

    A Few Comments

    by Don

    First of all, I want to say that I have all the faith in the world in JMS and The Babylon Project. This is, after all, a man who fought an uphill battle for four years to have his vision, his story brought to us. However, while faith manages, let's not forget that that there's always boom tomorrow. Let's just wait and see, okay? Now, to the point of this. Someone earlier said that TNT was run by WB and since WB has turned out such horrible films such as "Batman and Robin" that it wouldn't be hard to believe that TNT would rape CRUSADE. NOT SO, dear reader. That would be like a WB exec telling Bobby Cox who he should have in his starting line-up for the Atlanta Braves, since they too are owned by the WB/Turner conglomerate. (Please pardon my spelling mistakes. It's late.) In fact, judging by the original programming on TNT (the TV movies and such), I would say that we would be quite lucky to have the TNT producers and executives to move over to WB proper. On a final note, for all of you folks who count WCW Monday Nitro (Pro Wrestling) as a blemish on TNT's programming, I would suggest that you take a look at both the ratings and the demographics for the show. While I have not seen B5's ratings (I would love to get my hands on that info), I would venture to guess that B5 would kill to have their numbers since Nitro has been (IIRC), consistently, the top rated cable program for over the past two years. Were it not for those numbers and ad revenue, we probably wouldn't have a Season 5, much less TV movies or spin offs from our beloved B5. Believe it or not, there is more to the wrestling audience than knuckle draggers and cousin lovers. Let's not generalize, unless you want to believe that every sci-fi fan (including yourself) is a geek who lives in his mother's basement and has never gotten laid.

  • Sept. 10, 1998, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Mixed feelings

    by RandomRanger

    I believe Glen, but only as far as I believe any news source. Of course he has to protect his sources, but his sources are not infallible. I do not believe that this memo is what TNT would want from Crusade, after all, they are owned by Warner Bros (Time/Warner) and have a fairly strict code of conduct on their channel. I honestly believe that a memo of this caliber would be used to encourage smaller changes that TNT would want by asking for the BIG changes. When you wanted a cookie as a kid, you would ask for a box of cookies, and your mom (or dad) would "settle" on one or two cookies. TNT has to protect it's parent company's best interests, and I believe that a television show on basic cable would not stoop to mindless sex and violence after being praised for intelligent programming. I felt with my "gut instinct" that this memo was a hoax at first, but after a while, it seemed less like a hoax, and more like either suggestion or leverage. Thinking about TNT's past movies and shows helped me realize that. I also think that the Jesus example was taken from a news source that was using the European Producer's hurt feelings as "he said blah blah blah". Think about it, it sounds to me like TNT wanted a few small effects for the series, and this may have enraged mr. Producer into embellishing his feelings and making a statement that could have been based more on emotion than on fact. Either way, Variety would be protected because they're just reporting on what he said, not direct facts. Remember, any news, whether it's AICN or CNN or the National Inquirer is only as accurate as the people who are in the story. And no story is truly objective, not as long as a human being writes and reports on it -- we add our own editoral comments without thinking about it. the Random Ranger

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Have you read this closely

    by Partha Mittra

    If you read this memo closely you will see that what they are describing is "Star Trek" and some common complaints about it. For example the "sexual explorer" comments seem to be the same thing s said against Kirk's character in the original Star Trek series. The references to holodecks,"horny aliens" and "technobabble" all point to a satire of Star Trek

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 6:31 a.m. CST

    Anything is possible...

    by RandomRanger

    but, I sincerely doubt this memo was an office gag. Then again, maybe TNT has bought the rights to the old Trek episodes. NOTE: BELOW IS A PARODY (MEMO TO: TNT (MEMO FROM: TNT - We've recently bought the Star Trek original series videos for use in our new B5 project. For cost cutting reasons, we are planning to keep the entire episode the same, and just change the credits to read "Crusade:The DS9 Project" "Created by J. Michael Roddenberry" (we've had to alter the creator credit because of a stipulation by Paramount) "With no help at all from Harlan Elison" (Another strange Paramount stipulation, and they asked us to make it twice as big as the title). We've also gotten the green light from Standards & Practices to add a thirty minute soft-core porno after each episode. We'll call this "Crusade:The Babylon Project Special Edition -- edited scenes you haven't seen since they were filmed over 3 months ago". We expect a huge jump in our target 13-90 year old male audience. Sincerely, Nameless TNT executive heheheh the Random Ranger

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Context

    by Badger

    While it's been interesting reading the comments back and forth regarding the veracity of this memo, let's take a time out and look at the facts: 1) Memo exists. I have at least one friend in common with Glen who will stand up for Glen's word that he has confirmation that it exists. 2) It is an internal memo from one TNT exec. Again, I accept Glen's confirmation on this. Beyond the text of the memo, those are the only real facts that exist about it. At the moment, there has been no context given to the memo at all. When was the memo created? Who has seen it? What was the internal response to it? And what is going to be done with it? While it is not a bad idea to write polite notes to TNT to let them know how much we've been enjoying a series where JMS has creative control, until we know the answers to these and other questions, it is ridiculous to start flaming TNT (who, to date, beyond the changing of the timeslot, have done well by "Babylon 5") and to allow ourselves to be overly concerned. Besides, as mentioned by others, if anything does actually come of this, JMS, Harlan, or somebody involved with Babylonian Productions will likely have something to say about it beyond "I cannot confirm or deny this". Bottom line: Temper your response to this report with reason, folks, and act responsibly.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Here's what WB has done before...

    by JB Midnight

    I'm surprised that many still seem shocked that network execs would behave this way. Here's documented proof of WB's treatment of another SF franchise a while back. I realize that B5/Crusade is on TNT and V was on NBC, but the driving force behind both was WB. Check out this link for a revealing look at the thinking behind the awful V series, which NBC and WB made after creator Ken Johnson left in disgust. (Ironically, JMS had a hand in an attempt to revive V and get it back to its roots...) ------ http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3227/vwrgui.htm

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Wait! Ask JMS!!!

    by Pat Connors

    I can't do it myself just now, but! B5 and Crusade creator/executive producer J. Michael Straczynski -is- still online and communicating with fans (though less than he was during B5). Ask -him-.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 9:09 a.m. CST

    JMS Out?

    by The Crusader

    Oh jeez, if this is a joke (which it looks like, since the poster wasn't good enough to use a legit e-mail (well there is an isn.com - it has nothing to do with B5)), it has gone too far. I think this whole thing is getting outa hand. If it IS true. Well - Farewell Crusade - Many of us won't be watching. (And I've wasted a LOT of time on my website 8^( ). -TC

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 9:14 a.m. CST

    Really, Internet Shopping Network says that JMS is out. What a

    by RandomRanger

    (news@isn.com) You really shouldn't plague us with false rumors claiming to be something you're not. Go to www.isn.com and see it for yourself, it's an internet computer shopping store. If your rumor is true, prove yourself (Glen at least puts himself on the line, while you hide behind an easy-to-defeat message board). Stop yanking chains. The Random Ranger

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Calm Down

    by Pat Connors

    After doing a bit more digging myself, it looks to me like the story as reported is true. TNT execs -are- pressuring JMS to do Bad Things to Crusade. Well that figures. TNT -is- big enough now to have a number of unnecessary overblown egos on staff. But the key thing here is: what will JMS' reaction be? And my bet is that he'll do his job and be true to the story. Remember, there was some of the same sort of thing going on during the first season of B5. B5 was a big enough hit to spin off a sequel and a number of movies-of-the-week. So the attention focused on it by those who wrote it off before will be greater. Me, I'm betting that we'll never see any of the really horrid ideas in the final show, and that's what counts. So calm down. It'll be okay.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Re: JMS out? (from COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...re: the post suggesting JMS has left the set of CRUSADE. I can not confirm or deny rumors at this time, but I am in the process of checking. Once confirmation is attained, I will either confirm the story, or strip down the offending "talkback" posts. I have heard STRONG indications that the possibility of JMS leaving the series exists, but have heard NO indications whether or not this has actually happened. More to come...**Glen**

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 9:34 a.m. CST

    ....bad feeling.....

    by The Crusader

    I've never said that I believe this memo is true or not (just had a prob with HOW it was released). But I must say, I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this. The reason why is that the TNT message boards / chat server has been refusing connection all day. Now this may be a server problem but if you just had JMS walk out of your show, wouldn't you bring down your chat/message server to avoid all the hate mail? All this is making the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I hope and pray that there is still room for intelligent sci-fi on TV. -TC

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 9:39 a.m. CST

    don't worry about the TNT chat server...

    by RandomRanger

    I am on their chat (in the lobby or the Babcom room) almost every day, and whenever a lot of chat goes through there, the server crashes. In fact, it's down almost every other day, and EVERY monday morning. Besides, their mail goes through a different server, and they hardly ever say anything when they don't want to. (I've never seen nor heard of anybody seeing anybody from TNT come on chat. Kat from TNT only goes on message forums) -- The Random Ranger

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Holographic Brothels and Such

    by Media Savant

    It appears that some people are treating this concept of a Holographic Brothel as either something these faceless TNT execs are lifting from Trek or some wacky idea they just came up with on their own. Well, a Holographic brothel is part of a major "B" plot that runs through the River of Souls TV-Movie, which, I believe, is from the pen of J. Michael Straczynski. So, whose idea is it? And wouldn't it be something you can easily imagine a TNT weasel saying, "I like that holo-brothel from River of Souls. Can you work that into Crusade?" Or...did JMS not have creative control in ROS either? Was the holographic brothel not his idea?

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 10:17 a.m. CST

    B5-DS9 incident

    by jeffty

    There is reason to believe that Paramount ripped off the concept for DS9 from jms, even though DS9 was on the air first. Paramount was one of the studios he pitched the B5 idea to. DS9 execs deny it, and Joe has stopped talking about it, for the most part.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 10:29 a.m. CST

    actually, I believe that DS9...

    by RandomRanger

    was on the air within days of Babylon 5's pilot episode. There was a big fanfare about B5, but it didn't get a lot of recognition after it aired (I think because it was syndicated). TV Guide milked that "Battle of the Space stations" thing for all that it was worth. But, I believe DS9 *was* created completely seperate from B5, as a show for Michelle Forbes (Ens. Ro Laren of TNG) and a few other TNG cast members. After all, there was a lot of Bajoran/Cardassian build up before the announcement of DS9. -- the Random Ranger

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Sources

    by Meridian

    You know, Glen can go on all day, and he can have his supporters yelling it, too. "I have sources", "Ihave confirmed it with sources", and "I have confirmed it with sources." doesn't mean a damned thing. Gillian Anderson is pregnant. I got this froma highly reliable source. An anonymous one, naturally, so I can't tell you who it was. But "it couldn't be a much higher source". Have I actually *SAID* anything? Not really. Is it true? Well, we'll leave it up to my sources.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 11:20 a.m. CST

    TNT having ideas

    by Dusty Sayers

    If TNT is starting to inject its ideas into Babylon 5 episodes and movies, that sure would explain Thirdspace, wouldn't it? But I still find these awful ideas actually being implemented unlikey, TNT has seemed to be a pretty classy network in most of the other things it does. Well, we can hope and pray, and e-mail TNT politely.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Why this memo's hard to believe for me...

    by RandomRanger

    One of the real reasons I found it almost impossible to believe Glen's story was the whole "My best friend's sister's boyfriend's cousin heard from this guy who's going with this girl who saw the nameless TNT exec write it (save Ferris)". It comes from Glen's source's brother, who said he pilfered it from the desks of TNT. But I do believe that it's possible, and that's good enough for now. But this will probably come back and bite either Glen or Warner Bros in the ass... HARD! -- the Random Ranger

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Trek vs. Crusade...

    by RandomRanger

    First things first -- I've been pretty vocal about this, but I don't recal ever saying that this was an urban legend or anything similar. I have said other things, but that wasn't one of them. Glad you mentioned me, though ;) -- Also, I've just noticed that this Memo/rumor/TNT-torture-device has done something I didn't think possible... Up until two days ago, I was chatting (on TNT's chat board, which came back at 11:45a pst) about how Crusade sounded too much like Star Trek. Now, I'm defending Crusade from TNT making it into Trek. Could this be a ploy, or just a great coincidence? --the Random Ranger (BTW, I like Trek, just not on my B5. I like pizza and I like pickles, just not together)

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 2:05 p.m. CST

    2nd hand news - Sex on Crusade

    by The Crusader

    I was thinking, I would love to see a transcript of the "actual" memo. Not word of mouth thru the brother of Glen's source -> to Glen's source -> to Glen. It reminds me of that game you used to play in grade school where you gather 5-10 people around and whisper something in the first persons ear they pass it down the line and then the last person says aloud what they heard. Typically it's nothing like what was originally said. On another note, I've been thinking that the only character that would make sense as the "sexual adventurer" would be Dureena. Her race is dead accept for her and she may feel the need to continue the genetic line. From all the photo's I've seen of her she looks mighty human, with an almost gypsy air around her (the clothes and funky necklaces). Just some more food for thought, -TC

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 2:34 p.m. CST

    From COAXIAL: JMS *not* leaving & other news

    by coaxial

    Glen here...first off, in reference to knowing whether or not the posts in this "talkback" are really me, I have been closely monitoring the talkbacks - and all the "from Coaxial" post currently in place are genuinely from me. A few imposters have slipped through rather briefly, but I deleted the messages in rather short order. If there's EVER any doubt as to whether or not I am really posting, simply drop me an e-mail and I will confirm. I can not post "differently"...color coded or whatever. This board's technology doesn't permit that...yet. NOW, onto that rumor re: JMS storming off the set, leaving the show, etc. THAT RUMOR WAS INCORRECT. I have deleted the offending post made by "ISN". JMS has *not* stormed off the set of CRUSADE. JMS has *not* left CRUSADE altogether. This comes directly from JMS himself. Yes, it was formally confirmed (by me) with JMS. Who, by the way, did *not* correct or negate my story re: the memo. Of course, he didn't *enhance* it either. FINALLY, the score to the fourth BABYLON 5 TV movie...called A CALL TO ARMS...will not be written by regular B5 composer Christopher Franke. It will be composed by a man called EVAN CHIN. Chin will at the *very* least score "A Call to Arms", and I hear he's in the running to score the CRUSADE as well.**Glen**

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 2:56 p.m. CST

    "Call" Composer Spelling Correction (From COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...Woops! It's Evan Chen. Not Chin, as reflected in my previous talkback...**Glen**

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 4:39 p.m. CST

    What I think happened was...

    by Blair Leatherwood

    that someone at TNT (or WB) wrote the memo (yes, I'm sure it exists 'cause there ain't to boundary to stupidity). I also think that Joe was blindsided by the report here along with the rest of us. This is why "I can neither confirm nor deny" was posted--he knew nothing about it (confirmed later by Glen's comment that it was an internal memo). I would imagine that he scorched the phone lines trying to 1) confirm the existence of the memo and 2) rip the heads off the person or persons responsible. I do not think that Glen was at all irresponsible in posting the report. I do wish, however, that we had not been subjected to someone's *interpretation* of the memo--I do find it hard to believe that some of the phrases used in the synopsis of the memo were, in fact used (I guess there is a limit to stupidity). Bottom line: I have no trouble believing that an executive would write this type of memo. I also have no trouble believing that Joe knew nothing about it. I firmly believe that someone is in deep doo-doo.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Re: What I think happened was (from COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...BLAIR: hmmmmmmmmmm.........not too bad.......not too bad at all! And, can you take it one step further? If news of "the memo" was posted before JMS even knew about it...and fans were alerted to the existence of "the memo" before the time came for the network to approach a determined and stubborn JMS with a list of what were referred to by sources (in no uncertain terms) as "mandates"...might this have had a dampening effect on whatever firestorm was about to ignite??? (raises eyebrow in subtle suggestion)**Glen**

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 7:15 p.m. CST

    The Mad Mad TnT Bab5 memo

    by Kevin A Murphy

    Lighten up. It was an interoffice memo, not a direct order to JMS. And the plain fact of the matter is that not only writers, but editors and yes producers (and marketing people) brainstorm. Most ideas get shot down, for all sorts of reasons. Hopefully because they're dorky. But you can also trust in a good storyteller to be able to take requests and turn them into good story. Or even "orders." Take, for example, the 4-minute scene with Zach and Lita in the turbolift. That was added in because JMS had to fill a network gap after the sets had been struck. Not part of his original conception. But it worked, and in fact was one of the best scenes. What does the memo boil down to? More sex and violence because it sells, and maybe skimpier outfits. (Though obviously not for Garibaldi.) Yeah, some silly suggestions, and too much star trek, but it's a brainstorm session, not a preview of next season. "Aliens who get into fights whether or not there's a reason." If JMS has anything to do with it, there'll be a reason, and a good one. As for the sex-appeal angle, it's pretty obvious that Marcus was cast and costumed to pander to the hopelessly romantic fan-girls who made BEAUTY AND THE BEAST such a success. After all, you can have a guy tortured by survivor's guilt who doesn't look (and dress) goth-romantic and who doesn't have a sexy accent. So someone thinks a little more cheesecake would be a good idea. After all, Seven hasn't hurt Voyager. And credit to the Voyager writers, but they did come up with a good rationale why a refugee from a Patrick Nagel portrait/vinyl fetish party would join up with the ratings-low Voyager. You can have your military uniforms and cheesecake too, you know. After all, no one works out in their dress uniform, and if a crisis occurs while one of the better looking leads is in the shower... I could see the scene quite easily. Any character: "Why are you naked?" Sexy character: "I had a choice between getting dressed and letting the station blow up." Add in the Membari amusement at human foibles, and the Centauri telling a story to top the embarrassment, and you have a fun episode. With cheesecake and appropriate camera angles so that the home audience doesn't see everything. The only cause for alarm would be if JMS weren't running the series, which I strongly doubt will ever be the case.

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Sample Letter to TNT

    by L Pittenger

    Just in case this rumour turns out to have some little bit of truth and our letters would be helpful, here's what I'm writing to TNT. If you're not sure what to say and like this, or if you don't have time to compose and entire letter yourself and just want to sign one to send, here - for whatever it's worth - is mine. Someone posted earlier the mailing address - TNT, 1010 Techwood Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30318, ATTN: Babylon 5 - The Crusade. Anyone have an email address? -LP p.s. email me any comments (esp. the nice once); I'm not a regular reader/poster here, I just jumped over when I saw this particular article referenced. -------------------------------- Dear TNT, Various web sources have reported rumors that certain TNT staff have been attempting to influence the content of JMS's _Crusade_ and create an alternate show which, they believe, will be more 'marketable' (or something). I include a copy of one such web report at the end of this message. Now perhaps this rumor is simply a figment of someone's imagination

  • Sept. 11, 1998, 8:15 p.m. CST

    B5 rumour

    by Stu

    Sounds pretty bizarre to believe that a B5 based storyline could be modified to be anything other than what we have come to expect. . but consider the number of people on the planet who pay good money for movies which most B5 fans would not watch if someone were to "pay them" admission money in cash. JMS might have somehow lost control and that would be that. Wouldn't it?

  • Sept. 12, 1998, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Babylo n 5:Crusade....what if?

    by Roger Johnson

    Given the history of Babylon 5, the great storyline it contains, and the general consensus that it is the most entertaining and mature of all the sci-fi programs produced to date, one wonders why TNT wants destroy what has been gained during the last five years. Give the creative talents the freedom to continue developing the stories without the input of those who would give us a cross between "Baywatch" and "Walker, Texas Ranger." Obviously the subtle sexuality and reactive violence the original Babylon 5 contained is totally lost on the seemingly mindless corporate types at TNT. Too bad the TNT types can't refrain from wanting to be mediocre like the other networks! Mourn the loss.

  • Sept. 12, 1998, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Bloody Hell! B5 Midsummer nightmare!

    by Will Shakespeare

    To copulate or not to copulate...that is the question. Whether tis nobler to suffer the big breasted counselor or Holodeck fantasies of a bunch of suits or give it all up and move to England to write...ahhhh JMS I know him well, and it is the truth, Polonius' brother's sister's aunt's friend said so... Good morrow, Bill boy, (my friends call be Shax-beard! Party on!)

  • Sept. 12, 1998, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Re: Day 4: The Reality

    by coaxial

    Glen here...point taken. But ultimately, doesn't all "reporting" come down to a matter of precedent and trust in whomever is doing the reporting? I mean, denials like "I did not have sex with that woman...Ms. Lewinski...", denials like "I am not a crook"...etc. often equate to some degree of guilt or accountability. TNT's "no memo was sent to JMS" doesn't mean it didn't exist internally, or that they were not planning to approach JMS with it. But you're right, it is a matter of trust. So you have to look at my history...the number of times I was *right* about something in the last year...the number of times I have freely admitted I was wrong, ...and ask yourself if you can trust me. That's an answer only you can produce. Based on the evidence of my past performance here at Coaxial. If my telling you to trust me is not enough, the only other two people who can answer whether or not I am trustworthy in this instance is JMS himself, or you.**Glen**

  • Sept. 14, 1998, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Voyager get some competition

    by Frank

    Voyager's latex babe to finally get some competition in the realm of stupidity and bad tastes. Not that I mind, but the reason I watched B5 was for the intelligent story telling, the plot and the character developement. No great innovations, no me! I find these rumors disturbing, and while usually I choose to diregard them- in the light of the fifth season of B5 I realize that they may not all be that untrue. Considering jms has willingly written that 5th season of B5, striking of lower quality than the rest what's to stop with agree in CRUSADE to become a moneycow- a franchise and let the money rollin effortlessly. jms has said alot of things but just like LONDO he can say, think and act in total discordance if he choose too which after is what separate 3D characters from lame 2D ones we find in most shows. Regards, Frank B.

  • Sept. 14, 1998, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Crusade (obviously)...

    by RandomRanger

    Boy, I wish I hadn't had my line to AICN cut on thursday night (Damn Earthlink). Again, I'd like to point out that Crusade was starting to shape up to be in the vein of Trek *before* this memo stuff came up. After all, it IS the story of a 5 year mission, the story of 1 ship and 1 captain, "whereas Babylon 5 was a way station in space, this is a galactic scavenger hunt. Because of that, it's a much more action-oriented show. While Babylon 5 was a dramatic series with an action-adventure element, Crusade is an action-adventure show with a dramatic element." -John Copeland (Producer,B5 and Crusade). I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but this never sounded that promising to begin with. By the way, take a look at what else Mr. Copeland said "question)- Was there a conscious decision to create a race and gender mix in the cast? JC)- Absolutely, because our feeling is that the future will be very ethnically mixed up." Does *this* sound familiar? Can you say 'Uhura', anyone? And, by the way, JMS spoke directly against this type of thing - "I never ever give thought to ratios, or making a political statement, or anything other than the story. If that meant using 100% female cast in the movie, or 100% male cast, or some variation thereof, then that's what it'll be. I think the *instant* you start putting agendas ahead of the creative process, of saying "What is the story *about*?" then I think you're dead."(JMS). So, did the memo get your blood boiling? I know it did for me, and just like with the pilot of B5 (which I loved), I probably won't be able to give this pilot a fair shake. But that's ok, because I know that if it's good, TNT will get my ratings dollars, and if it sucks, they'll probably turn a quick buck and lose out in the long run. This isn't B5's last chance, it's just it's next chance. The memo is intriguing - it does tell what TNT thinks of it's audience. And Kat Sloakner (TNT) did say that *NO* memo like this went to JMS, Babylonian (productions), or Warner Brothers (TNT's parent company); which doesn't say anything about an internal memo, but also doesn't say that it's backed by the cash. So, write e-mails, but make sure you stay on good terms with TNT, they might actually surprise you in a good way. -- the Random Ranger

  • Sept. 15, 1998, 8:42 a.m. CST

    WHy worry?

    by Edward M Schaefer

    Let us suppose that this memo really exists. My guess is that whoever wrote it is at best now looking for a place to hide, and maybe looking for a new job. If history is any guide, JMS will put a quick end to those ideas; and if he cannot he will walk, or at least leave TNT with a choice of taking what they get or cancelling Crusade. In any case, I will take it easy. After all, noone can force me to watch Crusade. EMS

  • Sept. 15, 1998, 8:59 a.m. CST

    good question...

    by RandomRanger

    That's a good question. I can only give you a fair answer. We B5 fans feel that TNT may have betrayed us, and that if they did, we may be able to do something about this before it's too late. Of course, there's always the *real* answer: because there's nothing going on with crusade until January, and we fans can't stand it! ;P Well, I can wait, I guess. Here's something I don't understand, why do we *HAVE* to know everthing about a new show or movie before it comes out? This applies to Crusade, Star Wars ep 1 (Anakin's Big Adventure -or- The Empire Starts Out), and Star Trek: Insurretion. And why do the studios hide so much info? Look at Star Trek: First Contact, a pretty great movie, even though we knew all about the plot. And now look at ST9, it doesn't look half as promising, but there's no way to really know for sure - it's all conjecture and rumor. -- The Random Ranger

  • Sept. 15, 1998, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Re: Good Question

    by Edward M Schaefer

    Dear Random, I think that you have given me a good answer there. Even so, the one who TNT has betrayed (or is considering betraying) is not us but JMS. This is HIS show, not ours. In any case, as others have noted we must look to JMS to eventually tell us what the !@#$ is going on and to give us a Call To Arms :-) if the should prove necessary. (Of course, I you wish to sharpen your digital swords in the meantime, I can hardly object.) EMS

  • Sept. 16, 1998, 10:28 p.m. CST

    B5 "Crusade" Rape

    by Kenneth Achord

    I too thank TNT for picking up B5 and treating it as a real series. I am, however, not surprised that Hanoi Jane and Ted are out to destroy Jesus and B5:Crusade. The debasing of the respectable is just the stile of those two.

  • Sept. 16, 1998, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Hanoi Jane???

    by RandomRanger

    Talk about living in the past... Well, at least the rent's cheaper. Ted Turner sold his entire "entertainment" empire to media conglomerate Time/Warner, the parent company to Warner Bros, who makes Babylon 5 and Crusade. Turner has a role in Warner Bros, but he is only one voice out of many controlling voices. We don't even know what TNT did, or will do, and until Crusade hits our TV's (or at least, A Call To Arms), we won't know anything. -- the Random Ranger

  • Sept. 16, 1998, 10:51 p.m. CST

    afterthought...

    by RandomRanger

    What would Jane Fonda have to do with any business decisions from Ted Turner, anyway? And, if Mr. Turner has a hand in Crusade, well, at least after seeing the colorized version of "It's a Wonderful Life", you'll be able to sleep soundly knowing that the alien skies will be purple, green, etc., anything BUT blue. -- the Random Ranger

  • Sept. 18, 1998, 12:44 a.m. CST

    jms

    by rasputin

    I know this is old news now, but I'm new to all this. Scanning this list, one thing seems to have been missed. It's JMS. Or someone close to him. I mean, that's where it's supposed to have come from, right? Think about it. Which tv producer knows more about using the net for his own purposes - (disguised as 'keeping us informed', natch) than any other? Not that there's anything wrong with that. He probably just needed a show of popularity and to check some demographics. Whatever the purpose, looking at this list I'm sure it worked just fine. We've all performed our roles very well, thank the maker. Go on, thank him.

  • Sept. 18, 1998, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Any presss is good press

    by Rattlefish

    Did anyone consider that all this commotion is exactly what TNT was looking for? I won't say that JMS was in on it but I don't rule it out either. Think about it, everyone and their dog is talking about TNT and Crusade now. Let's face it, scandals are a favorite tool in the entertainment industry to heighten publicity. I'm not too concerned about the whole deal.

  • Sept. 18, 1998, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Rumors

    by Endymion

    To back up the last few posts perhaps this is JMS giving TNT a warning about what will happen if they attempt to force screwy ideas down his throat or the throats of the fans. Our reaction should be warning enough that any undo tampering would result in a terrific backlash against the network who forced it upon us.

  • Sept. 18, 1998, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Coax, I really was looking for answers...

    by Eric G

    Earlier I wrote asking a few questions for Glen that you didn't respond to. I hope this wasn't because they sounded like retoric. Question #1: "Who owns Crusade?" If I know that Babylonian and JMS in particular own B5, then I can rest easier. If not, then I'm really concerned. Question #2: "Do you have a reference (URL, etc.) to the TNT official response?" Please don't take this as a hostile question. I'd like to see it if it's public and available. I've sent my memo to TNT stating that I'm against the changes alleged to be in the memo, and pointing out what I think are the problems with pursuing them. I am now convinced (from your behavior and the implicit support you've gotten from the Lurker's Guide and JMS from their behavior) that the memo exists. That said, I would remind other people that as right as we might think we are, we don't *know* it exists, and so if you choose to do something constructive in response to your *belief* that it exists (like sending a message to TNT) you would be well served to admit to the possibility that you are incorrect. Thanks, Glen, for the professional attitude toward the situation and for not being offended by people thinking rather than blindly believing what they read.

  • Sept. 18, 1998, 3:56 p.m. CST

    TNT&CRUSADE (from Coaxial)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...to the person who posted the message saying they'd posted another message to me inquiring about who owns CRUSADE, etc. SORRY - I missed that altogether! Doh! Here's the deal: TNT is contributing a lot of money to CRUSADE. **Roughly** 500,000 dollars an episode (by my understanding this is over half each ep's budget). The rest of it is pretty much financed by Warners, by merchandising, video, overseas sales, etc. While there's a slight margin for error on the number, its essence is essentially correct. NOW - I have been told by rather reliable sources (but have yet to receive independent confirmation - see, I really am honest about this stuff) that TNT has recently attained the rights (or is about to attain the rights) to Season 5 of BABYLON 5, and to the first 22 episodes of CRUSADE (i.e. - CRUSADE's first season). Now, holding the "rights" to a concept doesn't necessarily equate to "ownership", but it is pretty damn close - all things being equal. Whoever holds the rights to a concept is pretty much free to dictate whether a concept/product lives or dies, is made or broken, is sold to new "rights holders" or pushed under the rug and forgotten about. To give one a sense of things, there's currently a MAJOR Hollywood producer (who shall remain nameless herein) who had a series on TV recently. The series didn't last long. Now the producer is considering re-launching the series elsewhere (syndicated?). Despite the fact his company developed the series and he was a major creative force...despite the fact this producer could probably make just about any *movie* he wanted to...this producer MUST get the "rights" to this series back from the studio & network before (potentially) moving ahead. This guy can do just about anything, but someone else hold the "rights" to the show he wants to resurrect - and untiol he hold "the rights" himself, his hands are tied. Without them, he can't resurrect *his* show. Which he conceived, developed, produced, etc. Hope this answers a few questions....**Glen**

  • Sept. 20, 1998, 5:30 a.m. CST

    Crusade

    by Paul Rana

    Okay, here we go. After seeing the memo and everybodies posts concerning it, i'm still not convinced on way or another whether it's real or not, but what ever it is it definatly has elements of the other in. For example, in the memo we have one idea which is the sex explorer. now i dont know whether you guys think this is one of the more unbelievable items, but to me it really does smell like a fake. The reason for this is that on one of my favorite sci-fi fake picture site (dont get all high and mighty with this, i know half of you do it any way:-), is a B5 section, and in this section is a pictoral story titled 'Ivonova's Guide To Sex With Aliens' (any residents of a.b.s.a will know what i'm talking about) and in the story, ivonova is writing a book about sex with aliens, so she goes round the station doing it with every alien race she can. Now does this sound familiar to you, maybe with a certain sex explorer? Seriously if the memo is real, i think that this is someones idea of a joke. On the other hand the rest of the message sounds like it could just be some lame-brained exec's 'great idea'. Here in the UK in the beginning of most of the B5 videos from 'beyond vision' have a trailer at the beginning that always makes me and my mates laugh. (you know the one, it has lots of clips sown together, and one of the first clips is CC saying 'I'm happy to see you' then BB says 'You're not happy to see me here' Anyway the reason it is so outragously funny is because of the amazingly un-B5-like portrayal of the series. with a background of pumping rave music there are hundreds of scenes flashing past, and guess what these scenes are of. Thats right, sex and violence. So wanting to add more S&V is a claim that i am not suprised about, and so in this part the memo could be real.

  • July 11, 1999, 12:43 a.m. CST

    Hindsight is 20/20

    by RyanNock

    It's true. All of it. We know now. And y'know what else, though the ideas TNT had up really did suck, I can't say JMS impressed me much on this one either.

  • May 29, 2006, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Babylon 5 is Alive

    by seppukudkurosawa